The Plan Was to Retire Together.
Now It’s Time to Plan Your Retirement as a Single Person.
When you were young and newlyweds, the plan was to work until 55 and then retire to Florida together, spending your senior years on a beach and enjoying life. Part of that plan changed when your spouse passed before you. It was unexpected and affected your life on many levels. But, the one thing that doesn’t have to change is your plan to enjoy your life as a senior. Will it be the same? Never. But, it can still be a tremendous time filled with laughter and opportunity.
Poor planning can prevent you from enjoying this time. The dynamic has changed. There are no longer two of you going into this transition together, you are now going through it alone. That can be scary and, in some cases, overwhelming. With some careful planning and preparation, you can get through this time and eventually get to that happiness you planned on all along.
Not the finance person? Get an advisor.
Maybe you weren’t the one that handled the bills. Rather than trying to do all of that yourself and facing problems, find a financial advisor that you trust to help you get things together. This is more than just finding someone to handle investments. Finding someone that can help you handle monthly expenses can lead to having more money later in life too! Ask for help when you need it!
Find out what’s happening with your Social Security.
If you were married, then you might be eligible for some Social Security benefits from your spouse. Sometimes, it’s better to claim your benefit and then switch to the survivor benefit later. To know what works best, there are some Social Security survivor’s benefits guides out there with great information.
Remember to name your responsible proxies.
You might have named your spouse as your proxy at some point, thinking that they would always be there to help you. With them absent from the picture, you’ll need to name a friend or family member as the person who will help you with important medical and financial decisions.
Think about where you want to be.
Is Florida still the location? Does it make sense to go that far away if it’s just you? It’s okay to abandon the original plan and find one that works better for your current situation rather than the dreams you had decades before.
“Right-size” your home.
The memories will remain long after the house is gone, and you shouldn’t hang on to a home that is too large due to sentimental reasons. Stairs can be dangerous, and it can be very tough to clean and manage the home and grounds if it is too big for one person. Your needs might change physically as well. The bottom line is that you are not letting anyone down or abandoning your spouse by moving into a home that is more manageable for you.
Find a network of friends to support you.
You can count on family to be there for you, but you need a social life as well. If your spouse is no longer with you, you might be hanging on to their social network and finding out that without your other half in your life, you just don’t connect as well with them. Find friends based on your interests and hobbies. This doesn’t mean to abandon your old pals, but you can find new meaning in life by taking chances with some new faces.
McGregor is dedicated to helping you find your way in retirement without your spouse. We have advisors to answer financial questions, doctors to help with health issues, and social activities to help you find ways to entertain yourself and stay busy. Retiring single wasn’t the plan, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have some fun and enjoy your senior years! Contact us today to find out about your future living space at McGregor!