TD Wealth released a survey in January 2018, which found that 47 percent of respondents were planning to retire solo. This is a fascinating statistic and one that is driven home by feedback we receive at many of our seminars. It is not surprising that with historical high divorce rates, Statistics Canada data showing all time high levels of individuals living solo and peope living in non traditional living arrangements to reduce housing costs, that people are heading into retirement with a focus on being alone.There is no doubt that retiring as a couple can be far better from a financial perspective especially if both partners had careers. There are also benefits from a personal care and support perspective as we age extending the time we can take care of each prior to the need to move into an assisted living situation.
The TD survey is focused on the financial aspects of retiring solo which suggests individuals will need to save more individually than their married counterparts, as housing, transportation, utilities, and healthcare expenses are bore by one person. Preparing to retire alone requires more focus and chances are you will need to execute your financial plan earlier than your married friends. The TD survey indicates that the biggest fears for respondents was running out of money in retirement, inflationary impact on living expenses, and not having adequate funds for healthcare. This underlines our belief that a financial plan is paramount to a successful Victory Lap. If you do not already have one get working on one today.
We also believe the idea of a full stop retirement is not the appropriate way to plan for your retirement. Instead plan for some work, a “Side Hustle” if you will, making some money outside your primary career. This is a great way to transition into Victory Lap. Try something you think you might like, if it works it will be an easier transition for you, if not well you have a better understanding of what you like and don’t like. Working, but more importantly working, on your terms will provide assorted benefits including socialization, mental challenge, additional income and since it is on your terms less stress. Just think regular income to lessen the fear of running out of money and provide a cushion for increasing healthcare costs and inflation in retirement. We also believe that working keeps you vibrant and puts you in situations where you can meet other solo Victory Lappers to sail with into retirement.
Solo retirement is not a bad thing, as Mike blogged last week Grey Divorce is on the rise so retirement can be a challenge for couples as well. Going into retirement is a transition for everyone and whether alone or as a couple we are going to have to adjust. Retirement can be a wonderful time to find the new you, the person that may have been hiding away as you built your career. You may have hidden that inner artist, woodworker or small business owner, no matter who you are you
need a plan, remember being alone and being lonely are very different things. You need a lifestyle plan to prevent the latter.