Singleness has its advantages. For one thing, without a spouse to accommodate and care for, a single person is able to fully focus on “how to please the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:32 ESV). There are downsides too, of course. Among them: “Woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:10 NASB).

These same two considerations — i.e., the clarity that comes with having fewer concerns and the obstacles that can arise from being by oneself — carry over into the financial area too, perhaps especially so with regard to retirement planning. A single person, for example, can concentrate on his or her own retirement needs without having to consider the long-term financial and healthcare needs of a spouse. At the same time, one who is single can’t rely on the greater financial sturdiness that comes from two people pooling their retirement-related savings and Social Security benefits.

Needless to say, there are “varieties” of single people. Some have never been married, some are divorced, some are widowed. But even though the financial needs and situations of particular singles can be quite different, there are commonalities.

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