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What to Think About for Retirement if You are Single

October 19, 2020

Posted in Retirement

Whether you are newly divorced, lost a partner, or have been on your own for a while you will want to revisit your retirement planning strategy to ensure it is in line with your current and future financial goals. 

Retirement planning as a single person has its advantages – it is less complex and you will only have to consider your own needs, there is no need to think about how your choices affect a life partner (or vice-versa).

A few things to consider:

If You’re…

What to Think About …


  • What your retirement income will be, based on your individual savings
  • Your Social Security claiming strategy
  • Working longer
  • Making sure your asset allocation aligns with your goals

Recently Bereaved

  • Working with an attorney to help with legal issues
  • Holding off on big decisions
  • What you’ll do with inherited retirement funds

A Long-Time Single

  • Saving more while you can
  • Designating beneficiaries, power of attorney for finances and healthcare
  • Whether long-term care insurance is a good option for you

Source: Schwab Center for Financial Research

Single people should also take time to review and make updates to beneficiary designations on all annuities, life insurance policies, retirement plans, and transfer-on-death accounts.

Most beneficiary changes can be easily done online or by submitting a form to the custodian where the account is held. Keeping your beneficiaries current will save your accounts from having to go through probate and ensure your wishes are carried out.

Our planners work with both couples and singles, helping them navigate through many life transitions, and can act as a sounding board and resource for individuals as they plan for retirement.


This material is intended to provide general financial education and is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied upon for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties.  Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. Individuals involved in the estate planning process should work with an estate planning team, including their own personal legal or tax counsel. 



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