Do you feel that the world is designed for couples? Let's face it - retirement and aging can feel scary when you are on your own. This also applies if you become a Solo Senior or Elder Orphan during retirement.
Whether by circumstances or choice, the U.S.Census Bureau estimates that there were 19.5 million unmarried U.S. residents age 65 and older in 2016. Experts estimate that around 23 percent of the older population nationwide will age alone and that percentage can be much higher – as high as 50% – in many cities. These aging adults are often referred to as elder orphans or solo seniors.
'Elder Orphans' are older people who don't have a spouse or children they can depend upon. 'Solo Seniors' are older adults who are living alone and don’t have children. In either case, this is a population of older people who don’t have a safety net if they need support, whether that’s physical, emotional or practical.
While being single was once stigmatized as a lonely or unhappy state, times have changed, and more and more people are staying single and societal norms are becoming more open to all kinds of different ways of living.
About 28% (14.7 million) of all older adults living in the community in 2019 lived alone (5 million men, 9.7 million women). They represented 21% of older men and 34% of older women. The proportion living alone increases with advanced age for both men and women. Among women age 75 and older, for example, 44% lived alone. Source...
There are challenges to retiring alone. Here are a few tips for navigating retirement on your own:
1. You need a personalized plan. A detailed retirement plan can be easy to create. The New Retirement retirement planning calculator has received a lot of praise for being a highly detailed tool.
2. Overcome your financial insecurities. According to a study from Northwestern Mutual, “overall, single men and women are generally less satisfied with their financial circumstances than married Americans.”
3. Maintain a schedule. Experts suggest that a major contributor to aging after retirement is the lack of the schedule that a job provides. When you retire - especially if you live alone - having a place to go every day can be an important aspect of staying vital.
4. Special note for people who become single after retirement. Whether you are married now or not, it is important that you try to educate yourself about personal finance.
5. Consider adopting a pet. The research on the benefits of owning a dog is overwhelming and are particularly true if you are single.
6. Cultivate a support network. Maintaining friendships is critical to your health and well being. You need people you can rely on emotionally and science says that you are way better off when you have people who rely on you.
7. Stay social. There are benefits of being social as we age. loneliness may have twice the impact on early death as obesity and is as damaging as disadvantaged socioeconomic status.
For the remaining '13 Tips for Retiring Alone' - click here...