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Old 02-03-2016, 04:30 PM
 
7,979 posts, read 11,659,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
I'm trying to convince my 30 year old daughter to save up for retirement. She is single and looks to stay that way for a while. She is working at a good (public service) job with a career path and paying off her college loan and has few other debts. She has nothing going toward retirement that I know of apart from a future work pension and social security.


Most retirees I know were couples with two incomes and gained some financial leverage over time. I have one friend who has remained single and just retired but she is fearful of every bump in the road. How does a single-for-life person plan for retirement? How different from a couple?
Well first, how does she feel about saving for retirement in general? Anything can happen even in a good marriage so saving is important. More importantly pension funds fail and SS might too, or her health. Does she think there is going to be some rich knight trotting in on his horse to take care of her? I'm not being snotty, many of us suffer from some sort of vague idea that something will come along and it will be ok. No one likes their hopes dashed. So she needs to realize white knight or not she needs to have her own money. Money equals independence and not being trapped in a job, relationship, what have you.

Second, it is plenty scary if you do end up on your own. And it is harder for a single person to save enough to prepare. So if she realizes that she is....whatever...independent, not the type to settle she needs to think about it even harder.

Perhaps try to convince her of the standard advice - pay yourself 10% first. Just that.
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:38 PM
 
7,913 posts, read 5,034,051 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daisy2010 View Post
The issue for single never married women is who will be there to help us if we are in an accident and need someone to manage our financial affairs temporarily or take care of our homes if we are in rehab. Some of us do not have any family nor do we have friends that can do it or neighbors. I think that is a major concern for single never married women. Lack of support systems.
This isn't a gendered question, save for the stereotype that men are supposed to have the individual spunk and fortitude to fend for themselves. On the contrary, one might argue that women are more adept than men, at networking and building social connections, not only upon which to draw in emergencies, but also to stave off the boredom of daily life.

I reiterate that at the OP's daughter's age, it's still readily possible to make progress towards one's financial future, whether married or single, whether communicative or taciturn and reserved. It is harder to make progress towards what might be termed one's social future. Why? It is because of the distinction between character and habits. Habits can be revised and reformed. The habit of saving can be picked up at any point in life. But character is formed in childhood and early-youth. Those of an unsociable character can't just suddenly reform themselves as adults.

Best of luck, to each and all.
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Central NY
4,666 posts, read 3,241,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagardener View Post
If the ex-spouse dies, only then can a divorced person claim up to 100% of their ex-spouse's SS benefit.

Thanks to the posters who clarified what a divorced spouse can claim from SS.
I LOVE the citation that they can collect 100% after spouse dies. Some women would get a lot of satisfaction from knowing this. Does Social Security notify you when the spouse dies? Just wondering.

Imagardener
Happily married to 1st spouse :-)

PS The 2 women I know who collected on ex-spouses SS were either stay-at-home OR in one case worked on the family dairy farm (like a dog) for many, many years and husband never paid into SS for her but DID pay SS for himself.

I don't know the answer to that. But I do read the obituaries daily.
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:55 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
2,905 posts, read 2,013,641 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daisy2010 View Post
I have to agree with the person who mentioned a house. As a single never-married woman I own a very modest, very small home in a blue-collar type neighborhood. When I initially moved in, I had to do some major maintenance on the house which is fine but I didn't have enough money leftover to do fancy upgrades. At this point I do not have the finances for fancy upgrades and I've learned to live with things the way they are. However, if and when I do sell the house, it will not fetch much money, not enough to buy into a fancy assisted living facility.

Compare that to most married couples who have beautiful $300,000+ homes in nice neighborhoods. Having 2 incomes provides a much grander house for a married couple and they can build up that much more equity to come out with in retirement, unless of course they stay in the house and continue to pay the higher bills for taxes and maintenance.
The government's tax policies (rates for single vs. married filing jointly, single people not being able to claim "head of household", social security survivor benefits going to married people only, child tax credits, et. al) are indeed no friend to the single person (including those who don't have much to begin with) trying to make a living as they rewards the married couple (including affluent ones) with a lower effective tax rate, along with the simple economies of scale that can be obtained by pooling the buying power of two incomes.

However, this can be offset somewhat with some tax advantaged retirement savings vehicles such as the Roth IRA, 401k, etc. If you show your daughter how much more she's being taxed as a single person, but then how she can save for retirement in a tax advantaged way that can at least help offset this inequity, it may motivate her to save, if nothing else, out of a sense of social justice to advocate for herself.
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Old 02-03-2016, 05:43 PM
 
536 posts, read 631,536 times
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I am single and live by myself and it suits me very well. My retirement fund is decent SS and a decent though not munificent fund of savings. I am working as long as I can because I enjoy working.

It is not necessarily true that people who live alone are lonely--I work with people all day long and like my time at home. When I travel, I prefer to go solo, and often go to Japan by myself. I like to immerse myself in other cultures, and no matter how well I like a travel companion, it changes the trip.

I'm not sure how many here will agree with this, but it's the simple truth for me. I grew up in a medium size house as part of a jumbo family and I really, really, like the peace and quiet of my little house. Just as I like dealing with people daily, I like going home and doing just what I want. I am 67.
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Old 02-03-2016, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,538 posts, read 44,002,416 times
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OP's daughter - at 30 - is way ahead already with a govt job/defined benefit pension and SS.

That said, she should also save for retirement.

BUT - at age 30 - it is really hard to contemplate retirement 25-30 years down the road. She is still getting started in life and, no doubt, has other places she'd rather spend her money.

At the very least now, she needs to have an emergency fund of a year's income, at least - just in case of a job loss or other disaster.

My sister (a retired RN) - now 66 - never married. She had a very nice income most of her working years - but was also a very big spender on fine jewelry and art - value unknown, but substantial. Nonetheless, she still managed to save about $200k and is now retired on a completely annuitized income of $4k/mo., comprised of SS, pension, and an annuity she bought in her 30's. Owns her own modest home which she bought ten years ago (a burdensome mistake), but because of mortgage and stagnant property values, has no equity to speak of. Doesn't need to draw on the retirement funds at all. May sell the house because it's a hassle - but getting out of there will be hard - too much stuff.

So, there are many ways to skin a cat. At age 30, I wouldn't be too worried about her - unless she has plans to leave that secure job and that invaluable pension. Remembering back, it would have been very hard for me, at age 30, to stay with the same employer. It's easy to make dumb mistakes when young. But, everyone is different.

I've been divorced/single so long (36 years) - and agree - in many cases married people do better financially. Yes, I'd be in a much better place had I been married all these years - w/two incomes while working - two incomes in retirement, but it is what it is. Nonetheless, I am comfortable and consider myself fortunate - it could be much worse.
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Central NY
4,666 posts, read 3,241,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyalicemore View Post
I am single and live by myself and it suits me very well. My retirement fund is decent SS and a decent though not munificent fund of savings. I am working as long as I can because I enjoy working.

It is not necessarily true that people who live alone are lonely--I work with people all day long and like my time at home. When I travel, I prefer to go solo, and often go to Japan by myself. I like to immerse myself in other cultures, and no matter how well I like a travel companion, it changes the trip.

I'm not sure how many here will agree with this, but it's the simple truth for me. I grew up in a medium size house as part of a jumbo family and I really, really, like the peace and quiet of my little house. Just as I like dealing with people daily, I like going home and doing just what I want. I am 67.

I like your post. It took me a while to finally get comfortable with my own company but now that I have done that, I enjoy my alone time. And what you said about travel is very true. Going alone you get to do what you want to do. Traveling with a friend totally changes that.

Thank you for writing this.
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:18 PM
 
7,981 posts, read 3,462,732 times
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Impress on her life will be much better with few bills. Try to pay things off before retiring.
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:45 PM
 
5,426 posts, read 3,448,244 times
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I like ladyalicemore's post too!
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:29 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,751 posts, read 7,030,085 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Several I know have invested well in rental property...

One of my dear friends has been a widow 50 years... she owns a lovely 3 unit Victorian and the rents from the two of the units more than cover... plus she has a little social security...
This is what a good friend of mine who never married has done that as well. She worked for years in a state government job- the salaries were notoriously low for state employees in this state, so I know she wasn't rolling in the dough ( I worked with her for 15 yrs at the same job), but there was a defined pension benefit and we paid into SS,so she's collected both. Adequate but not a stellar retirement income, and I never asked her about her investments so I couldn't say, but I imagine she had some savings. She bought a duplex in the 70's, lived in one half herself and rented out the other half, and made some money on the other half she rented out.

She's been able to travel quite a bit, and seems to be doing very well with her retirement.
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