Many single women are worried about saving enough for retirement. They either don’t understand how to best invest for the future or are gripped with fear because they live on a single income and worry this won’t be enough.
Singles saving for retirement have an advantage over their counterparts in many ways.
Singles don’t have a second set of values and goals with money with which to compete
They can choose what they hold valuable and allocate the money they save and spend according to those values. They alone can decide their goals and set systems to get to those goals and watch it happen.
There is no partner to fuss with and convince to save as much as they want or to spend less when they see household money on frivolous items with which they disagree.
Single people don’t have to worry about being liable for other’s debt
I have seen with many couples where one commits to saving and planning for their future. The other party goes behind their back, makes many purchases, and builds large amounts of debt, holding the entire household back from financial security in retirement.
Even if they divorce after the differences are too significant, they are often responsible for paying off half of (sometimes all of) the debt their ex caused.
Singles do have complete control over their spending and saving habits
It is much easier for a single to limit their spending in the non-essential areas, allowing more surplus to save for retirement.
Singles can independently choose where to spend and where to save. If they like to cook, they can save money by not eating out much. If they want to eat out, they can choose to stay fit by walking and riding a bike outdoors for free rather than paying for a gym membership.
If they had a partner with competing likes and dislikes cutting back as a household would be more challenging.
A single person can find a professional to consult rather than a partner who has opinions based on no knowledge
A single person is wise to get financial wisdom from a professional and often does better than a couple who rely on each other instead of an outside source for advice on growing their money.
When I was younger, I relied on my husband to make many of our financial decisions because I didn’t know much, and it was easier to let him take care of it rather than try and figure out the best moves.
Later, I realized he knew even less than me and applied horrible financial principles to our money. He created tons of debt that would be all mine at the end and even have my wages being garnished by his moves after we were no longer together.
Ladies, if you don’t know enough, research and learn. Then hire a professional with the tough stuff. I will teach you all I can and walk you through the tough stuff.
Singles can change habits for saving much faster and easier than when two people are involved
Changing habits is difficult enough in yourself. Suppose you had to change your thoughts, ideals, and your partner’s as well before things changed financially for you?
It would take much longer and double the time it would take to see changes from the new habits.
Singles don’t have to save as much as their married counterparts
Singles sometimes find themselves behind for saving for retirement after leaving a relationship in which their significant other wrecked their finances.
There is always hope! Once free from the problem, singles can clean things up one step at a time and get back on track. Financial situations can always change and evolve, and it is so much easier to change things when you are no longer attached to a financially irresponsible significant other.
You won’t have near as much to save as a married couple does. You won’t need as much for utilities to cover one adult. You won’t have as much health care or insurance costs. It is easier for a single person to travel on a dime and enjoy life.
Singles can reach their retirement goals much faster and easier than a married couple.
Start now and look to the future
The best thing to do is to start building your IRA, 401K, Roth IRA, SEP (or whatever vehicle is available to you) today, no matter the state of your finances. Every little bit will help and grow to provide what you need in retirement.
Start small and increase from there as other aspects of your finances fall into place.
The biggest mistake a single person can make is waiting to add to their IRA because of debt or uncertainty.
Begin today to move forward with positive thoughts about your situation. Soon you will find you are doing just as good, if not better, than your married friends and family.
What do you do if you want to start an IRA but your are in the process of the divorce ( already filed but waiting for initial hearing and the courts are backed up due to Covid and soon to be X is very manipulative and controlling)
Would he get half of the IRA I start now?
Hi Lynnie. Thanks for the question. This is really a question for your lawyer. From what I understand, anything done with money once you have physically separated or filed for divorce is not joint any longer. So if your process is already started, then anything you do, including IRA investing would be yours and not dividable. I would just run it by your lawyer, then you can get started with confidence. If you don’t have a lawyer, check for a Second Saturday event in your area, they offer free divorce legal help for women. Or find one that has a low cost 30 minute consult and ask this question and any others that you may have. For quicker answers drop questions in the Facebook group Fab Life Now Community, in case I miss them here.