Most retirement advice is geared towards couples, but many people face retirement planning by themselves, especially women. Compared to men, fewer women re-marry and women are more likely to lose their spouse early on in life.
Currently, about 40 percent of women aged 45 to 65 are unmarried. While it might seem unfair, these women need to save more money for retirement than they would if they were part of a couple. MoneySense found that single women need 70 percent of the retirement fund of a couple with the same lifestyle. Why so much? Couples save on shared home, vehicle, and other costs that lower their retirement expenses per person.
This means that if you’re a woman, you may need to think creatively to make the most of your retirement savings.
By far the largest financial burden for single women is the mortgage. Downsizing is one way to reduce your housing expenses, but it’s not an ideal option for everyone, especially if you enjoy entertaining and hosting. Luckily, downsizing isn’t the only way to keep your home and your lifestyle.
Share Your Home
Maximize the investment you’ve made in your home by sharing it! HomeShare Alliance will help you find a housemate who fits your home and lifestyle needs. And, the agreement is not ruled by the Landlord and Tenant’s Act, because you’re sharing, not renting. This option can bring in significant income that will allow you to put more towards retirement.
Financial benefits aren’t the only reason to consider homesharing. In our experience, when you find a housemate who shares your interests, strong friendships often develop. Homesharing is a wonderful way to combat isolation and loneliness and remain social throughout your retirement, which has huge physical and mental health benefits.
Long-term Care Insurance
As we age we need more help around the house. While a couple can trade off tasks that one or the other is no longer able to do, a single woman is often on her own. Even if you have children, it’s just not the same level of support a couple has. So, you may need to get paid help in your home earlier than you anticipated. One way to offset this cost is to invest in long-term care insurance. Many long-term care packages allow for in-home nursing and cleaning. You can even use this type of insurance to transition to a retirement home when you’re ready.
While saving for retirement is more challenging for single women, there are clever solutions that can set you up for long-term financial stability.