Can Being Alone Kill Your Retirement?

One in three Baby Boomers are unmarried. Most of us expect widowhood, but the vast majority are either divorced or never married. In reality, only ten percent are widowed. Even if you are not alone now, the growing share of Boomers will become unmarried as they experience divorce and widowhood along the way.

Have you experienced some or all of these common experiences for those alone? 

  • A nagging fear that someday you’ll end up broke because you lived longer than expected
  • Drawing a blank on who to use for an emergency contact or who will be your durable power of attorney
  • Worry that you might fall prey to a financial scam and have your hard-earned retirement savings stolen
  • Watching a friend or relative go through a medical event and having a wake-up call on how expensive proper care can be
  • Concern that the only person you have to help is a son or daughter who is irresponsible or with a history of substance abuse
  • Dreading a time when someone will make healthcare decisions that go against your wishes causing you to suffer needlessly at the end of your life

The #1 fear of retirees today is “running out of money before running out of life.” Society as a whole is living longer. Living longer means your health is bound to deteriorate, and proper care is expensive. If you’re spending retirement alone, you can feel even more exposed without a partner providing a safety net.

What are these retirement killing dangers? 

I call them the
Four Fearsome Fates of Aging…  

…and none of them ever need to come true.

How can I avoid these retirement killing dangers? 

By making some simple shifts you can stop worrying and enjoy the present.

  • Be proactive, not reactive. Most chronic conditions arise from your lifestyle – lack of exercise, smoking, poor diet. Don’t be victim to the thinking that you are doomed to experience bad health.
  • Manage the environment where you live. Take a good look at how life would be if you became disabled even for a short time. Could you stay in your home?
  • Prepare for emergencies. Did you know more than 250,000 U.S. deaths a year are due to medical error?1 Being better prepared with your personal information such as medication lists can prevent fatal mistakes.
  • Protect your finances. Older adults are particularly vulnerable to scam artists and fraudsters. The FBI notes that seniors are prime targets because of their wealth, trusting nature, and unwillingness to report the crime.
  • Plan for the worst but expect the best. What if you make it to age 100 or higher? Make plans now to ensure your choice and control are preserved.

We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future with things like taxes, interest rates, or investment performance, but we DO know how to avoid failing at retirement. Start living a worry-free retirement lifestyle knowing you have the proper protection in place and can avoid retirement killing dangers.

1 Johns Hopkins Medicine

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