Single Retirement Tips: How to Prepare for a Solo Old Age

Time retirement steps at each age
Time retirement steps at each age

When it comes to the problems that arise in old age, married retirees can usually rely on their spouses for support. But for singles, handling the golden years can be more problematic.

Last week, we got advice from the experts on how to prepare in "On Your Own: How to Manage the Finances of Single Retirement."

Here's a rundown of what they suggested:

If you're single and in your fifties...

  • As you get older, health care decisions will become a bigger priority -- and having someone to speak for you in an emergency will become vital. If you're facing old age without a partner, it's a good idea to find someone you trust to take responsibility for your medical power of attorney.

  • Living alone can be the pits. Think about finding roommates to share the expenses and provide companionship.

If you're single and in your forties...

  • Chances are that you're going to need some form of long-term care as you get older. Get long-term care insurance now to help with bills later.

  • Financially speaking, it's better to divorce earlier than later. And while you're married, you should stay conversant with all the details of your household income and expenses. Know where your money is ... and what it's doing for you.

If you're single and in your thirties...

  • If it looks like marriage won't be in the cards for you, start building equity now. Real estate can be a good investment ... and may give you money to tap into later.

  • Just because you don't have to pay for child care, tuition and other childcare-related costs doesn't mean that you should spend your whole paycheck. Save early to ensure your security later!