Retirement marks a significant milestone in one’s life, offering the promise of freedom, leisure, and new opportunities. However, the transition from a structured work life to retirement requires careful planning to ensure financial security, health, and overall well-being. Retiring alone presents unique opportunities and challenges compared to retiring as part of a couple or family. According to Pew Research, 27% of people older than 60 live solo. Older women are more likely than men to live alone. In fact, for those 75 or older, approximately 44% of women are living in households of one. The gap between those who marry or partner and those who remain single for life (i.e., never married, divorced or widowed) has greatly narrowed for all ages. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that approximately 135 million Americans have been married at some point compared to 130 million who have never partnered. You are not alone. Now for some key considerations:

Financial Preparedness:

We suggest engaging with an advisor who has the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. A CFP® professional specializes in providing financial planning services to individuals and families. They undergo rigorous training and examination encompassing various aspects of financial planning to earn their certification.

A CFP® professional begins by conducting a thorough assessment of your financial situation before starting to build out a comprehensive retirement plan tailored to your specific needs and objectives. Part of the financial planning process could include:

  1. Financial Goal Setting: Defining your short- and long-term financial goals such as retirement age, living expenses, travel, and associated healthcare costs in retirement.
  2. Solo Budgeting: Developing a detailed budget tailored to individual needs and lifestyle preferences, accounting for essential living expenses, healthcare costs, leisure activities, and savings goals.
  3. Savings and Investments: Assessing retirement savings accounts, investment portfolios, and any pension income for overall asset allocation, diversification, income optimization, and wealth preservation. Performing a Social Security benefit analysis in order to determine the optimum age to start collecting benefits.
  4. Healthcare Planning: Planning for healthcare expenses by exploring insurance options such as private insurance, Medicare, and supplemental coverage.
  5. Long-Term Care Considerations: Anticipating potential long-term care needs and exploring insurance or savings strategies to cover expenses associated with assisted living facilities or in-home services. Approximately 69% of Americans will need long-term care, even though only 37% think they will, according to SeniorCare.com.
  6. Tax Planning: Minimizing tax liabilities through tax-efficient investment strategies, charitable giving, and estate planning techniques.

Social Connection and Support:

  1. Community Engagement: Cultivating social networks and community ties to combat isolation and loneliness. Participating in local clubs, volunteer or other organizations to foster meaningful connections and a sense of belonging.
  2. Building a Support Network: Identifying trusted friends, family members, or professionals who can offer support and assistance, especially in times of illness or emergencies.
  3. Social Opportunities: Embracing solo travel, social outings, and recreational activities. Expanding social circles, exploring new interests, and enhancing overall well-being. Seeking out opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals and cultivate enriching relationships.

Emotional and Psychological Well-Being:

  1. Finding Purpose and Meaning: Exploring avenues for personal growth, volunteerism, or creative pursuits to cultivate a sense of purpose and fulfillment in retirement. Engaging in activities that align with individual values, passions, and interests to foster a sense of meaning and fulfillment.
  2. Self-Care: Prioritizing self-care through mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and healthy lifestyle habits to promote emotional and psychological well-being.

Practical Considerations:

  1. Housing and Living Arrangements: Evaluating housing options that suit individual preferences, budget, and lifestyle. Considering factors such as location, safety, affordability, and access to amenities and services.
  2. Estate Planning and Legal Matters: Establishing or updating legal documents to include wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. Outlining preferences for asset distribution, healthcare decisions, and end-of-life care.
  3. Continued Learning and Growth: Embracing opportunities for lifelong learning and personal development to stimulate cognitive function, creativity, and intellectual curiosity. Exploring educational programs, workshops, or hobbies that inspire growth and enrichment.
  4. Safety and Security: Prioritizing personal safety and security by implementing precautionary measures such as home security systems, emergency preparedness plans, and regular health check-ups.

Retiring alone offers a myriad of possibilities for personal growth, freedom, and self-discovery. By addressing financial, social, emotional, and practical considerations, solo retirees can help navigate this transition with more confidence and resilience. Individuals retiring solo can help create a fulfilling and meaningful retirement lifestyle that reflects their unique values, aspirations, and desires.


Please Note: Limitations. The achievement of any professional designation, certification, degree, or license, recognition by publications, media, or other organizations, membership in any professional organization, or any amount of prior experience or success, should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results or satisfaction if Savant is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the CFP® certification mark, the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification mark, and the CFP® certification mark (with plaque design) logo in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Author Kenneth L. Eshleman Financial Advisor

Ken has been involved in the financial services industry since 1993. He is a member of the Financial Planning Association and the Financial Planning Association of Central PA.

About Savant Wealth Management

Savant Wealth Management is a leading independent, nationally recognized, fee-only firm serving clients for over 30 years. As a trusted advisor, Savant Wealth Management offers investment management, financial planning, retirement plan and family office services to financially established individuals and institutions. Savant also offers corporate accounting, tax preparation, payroll and consulting through its affiliate, Savant Tax & Consulting.

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Savant Wealth Management (“Savant”) is an SEC registered investment adviser headquartered in Rockford, Illinois. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk. Therefore, it should not be assumed that future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy, including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended and/or undertaken by Savant, or any non-investment related services, will be profitable, equal any historical performance levels, be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Please see our Important Disclosures.

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