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Estate planning

Getting the right documents in place will make it easier when you become unable to manage your affairs.

  • Most childless singles find friends and family to carry out their wishes.
  • A durable power of attorney gives someone you select the authority to manage your finances if you're unable to do so or you want help.
  • You'll need both a living will and health care proxy to explain your wishes in certain medical situations and make sure someone you know, and trust can make other medical decisions for you.
  • A medical information release permits doctors to share information with the people you've selected. Financial advisers and other financial professionals often have similar forms that will allow them to contact your doctor or a trusted friend when needed.
  • You can write a will on your own for about $70 using a do-it-yourself service. You'll also need to choose an executor, who will oversee the distribution of your estate.

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Paying for retirement

  • Try to save at least 15% of your paycheck for retirement.
  • If you're able to save more, open a Roth IRA. You'll pay taxes on your contributions now, but your earnings will accumulate tax-free.
  • Even if you haven't saved anything for your retirement, there's still time to bui...

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Housing options

  • Some single seniors can stay in their current homes, usually with structural changes. Even if your health is good, you may need someone to help you with household tasks or provide more expensive care as you age.
  • Home sharing is an appealing option for those with fr...

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Build a team

Growing older without a spouse or adult children means you'll need to build support who can help with your finances, make medical decisions and prevent you from becoming isolated as you grow older (extended family, trusted friends, and paid professionals):

  • Find people who will manage...

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Social Security

If you were married for more than a decade and then divorced or your spouse died, you may qualify for Social Security benefits based on his or her work history.

If you're in good health, postponing benefits may be worth it. For each year you wait past full retirement age - up to age 70 - y...

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Consider future care

If you don't have long-term-care insurance, a chronic illness could quickly drain your retirement funds.
Nearly 70% of seniors will eventually need some form of long-term care, and about 20% of them for more than five years.

Buying long-term-care insurance policies early - generally...

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Create an income safety net

Many singles don't have a strong enough backup plan to cover the costs of a major illness or other problems.

Ensure you have enough cash on hand to cover emergencies. For singles, the aim is between nine and twelve months of living expenses in a savings account. As you nea...

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Long-term disability policies

Group long-term disability policies offered by employers typically replace up to 60% of your income.

To ensure you have enough coverage, aim to bring your total coverage up to 80% o 90% of your take-home pay, including bonuses and commissions.

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"Many people are in the dark when it comes to money, and I'm going to turn on the lights. " ~ Suze Orman

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Build a team

Growing older without a spouse or adult children means you'll need to build support who can help with your finances, make medical decisions and prevent you from becoming isolated as you grow older (extended family, trusted friends, and paid professionals):

  • Find people who will manage...

Keep a Crisis Notebook

Here's how to better cope with uncertainty:

  • create a collection of legal documents that will make sure everyone is prepared for an emergency.
  • designate someone to make medical decisions for you if you’re unable to make them and offer specific guidance about your wishes if yo...

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