News Mar 25, 2024 02:13 PM EDT

A Single Woman's Guide to Retirement

By Isaiah McCall

Let's be real for a moment: navigating the world of retirement as a single woman can sometimes feel like you're trying to assemble IKEA furniture without the manual. You know it's doable, but boy, wouldn't some clear instructions (and maybe a helping hand) make a world of difference?

According to a recent study highlighted by The Wall Street Journal, single women between 55 and 64 have an average of $88,600 in retirement savings. That's a stark contrast to the $136,685 stashed away by their male counterparts and the whopping $423,800 by couples.

(Photo : Unsplash) Retirement

The Reality Check

First off, let's face the music. The numbers don't lie, and they're singing a tune that's not exactly music to our ears. With the average retirement savings for single women sitting at less than a third of what couples have, it's clear we've got some catching up to do. But fear not! This isn't about doom and gloom; it's about rolling up our sleeves and getting strategic.

Getting Strategic with Savings

Remember Aunt Edna, who never married but traveled the world and retired comfortably at 60? She had a secret weapon: strategy. It's all about maximizing those 401(k) contributions, exploring IRAs, and maybe even getting cozy with some investment apps. Sites like Approach Financial Planning suggest that while the average savings might seem daunting, the median amount for unmarried women is a more manageable $117,173. It's a reminder that with the right plan, a comfortable retirement isn't just a pipe dream.

Social Security Savvy

Did you know that 46% of unmarried women over 65 rely on Social Security for nearly all of their income? That's a stat from AAUW that's worth paying attention to. Getting savvy with when and how you claim Social Security benefits can make a significant difference in your monthly checks. Delaying claiming until you're 70, for example, can boost your benefits by a substantial margin.

Embrace Your Independence

Let's take a leaf out of the book 'The Single Woman's Guide to Retirement' from AARP. It's all about embracing your independence and using it to your advantage. Whether it's downsizing to free up some cash, joining investment clubs to boost your financial literacy, or even considering a retirement community that fits your budget and lifestyle, the possibilities are endless.

The Bottom Line

Retirement for single women in America might look a bit different, but who says different can't be fantastic? With some smart planning, a dash of financial education, and maybe a sprinkle of Aunt Edna's adventurous spirit, navigating retirement solo can be an empowering and enriching journey. So, here's to thriving in retirement, one strategic step at a time!

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