More than half (53%) of married Americans and more than two-thirds (69%) of single Americans say they believe it is easier to make major financial decisions for retirement without a spouse.
Despite these perceptions, Schwab’s survey finds singles are on average less prepared and less confident than those who are married when it comes to being financially prepared for retirement. According to the results, 85% of married Americans are already saving for retirement, compared with 67% of singles across all age groups. More than one-third (38%) of married Americans express confidence in their retirement readiness compared to just 32%of those who are single.
“At a time when the number of single adults is at a historical high in our country, our survey shows that this group has ground to make up in terms of retirement readiness,“ said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, Senior Vice President, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. “But regardless of marital status, there are some fundamental steps that all Americans can take to get better prepared, including starting to save as early as possible; creating a long-term saving and investing plan; and for many people, enlisting the help of a professional who can help navigate some of the more complex issues such as tax implications and estate planning.”
According to the survey, both married and single respondents acknowledge there are also potential drawbacks to retirement planning without a spouse. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of married people and 57% of singles, say that not having a spouse’s additional income or investments as a safety net could be a challenge. Similarly, 58% of married people and nearly half (47%) of singles say it might be challenging to not have a spouse to rely on for health insurance or long-term care.
Additional survey findings include:
- Fifty-eight percent of married Americans say it would be easier to decide when to retire without having a spouse to consider.
- Sixty-two percent of those that are married say choosing where to retire would be easier if they were single.
- More than one-quarter (27%) of married respondents say their financial confidante is someone other than their spouse, while more than half (55%) of singles turn first to close family members, such as parents and siblings.