Singles should not avoid retirement or estate planning.
Are you single?
You are not alone.
In America, nearly 35.4 million of us lived alone in 2016.
This is more than a quarter of all U.S. households.
In fact, 19.5 million of those individuals were age 65 or older.
According to a recent CNBC article titled “For aging singles, here's how to plan for your golden years,” although singles face different challenges than their married counterparts, both need to plan for retirement.
First, start by saving.
You should put as much into your 401(k) or IRA as you can while you are working.
An emergency fund is equally important.
You should also ask your employer whether it has a group insurance policy for long-term disability.
A policy like this will provide a portion of your income should you be unable to work due to medical conditions or an accident.
There are other ways for singles to protect themselves as they age.
Next, you should work with an experienced estate planning attorney to get your affairs in order.
You should have a will.
You should also have powers of attorney giving authority to trusted individuals to handle your medical decisions and finances (such as paying bills) should you become incapacitated.
These can be separate individuals and separate documents for health care matters and for financial matters.
You should also consider a health care treatment directive.
This allows you to provide direction regarding specific health care wishes, including addressing life support.
This will help your health care agent make decisions in alignment with your desires.
As you age, you may need help with daily life.
In fact, nearly 70 percent of those over 65 will need long-term care.
On average, women will need it for 3.7 years.
Men will need it for about 2.2 years.
You may not have family to assist.
You will need to plan financially.
Medicare will not cover long-term care.
Long-term care insurance may be a viable option.
You should get a policy when you are younger and healthier.
This will help you avoid spending down assets to qualify for Medicaid.
Finally, you should have a friend or neighbor check in periodically to make sure you are okay.
As you can see, there are many things to consider as you age regardless your marital status.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: CNBC (July 2, 2018) “For aging singles, here's how to plan for your golden years”