Despite the prevalence of commercials featuring frolicking senior couples enjoying their golden years together, either on a beach or at an assisted-living facility – which, in the commercials, appears as though it is a fantastic resort where the fun never stops – without a care in the world, the reality is much different.
Many retirees are newly single, due to divorce or death, and many have never married, yet these people still needed to have a plan for retirement. With an average lifespan that is five years longer than a man, women are especially likely to enter retirement single; but, with the salary discrepancies which still exist between men and women, women are less likely to have earned as much as a man while needing to stretch it farther. In fact, according to the AARP, among current retirees over the age of 65, 44% of the men receive pensions but only 26% of women receive one.
As a single retiree there may be extra concerns that you need to take into account when devising your estate plan. What type of housing arrangements will you need? Living in a house by yourself may have been fine while you were working, but retirement often brings a significant decline in social interaction so perhaps living with roommates might be a better option for you. Will you need to help your parents with their retirement as well as your own? If you’re a single retiree you may not be able to help as much as you would otherwise, so it would be wise to sit and talk with your parents about their expectations.
As to your own future, consider consulting with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney. Without proper planning, should you become incapacitated, your legal, financial and health decisions may be decided in court proceedings by a judge or person appointed by a judge. However well intentioned their decisions may be, they are strangers who will not know your concerns and goals. Take control of your own future by creating a comprehensive and thoughtful estate plan so that you can rest assured your hand chosen persons can take over and handle your affairs as you direct.