Information Based on Study Showing Single Heads of Households and Others Have Particular Financial Challenges
The Institute’s recent study, The New American Family: The MetLife Study of Family Structure and Financial Well-Being, conducted in conjunction with the Society of Actuaries’
The tips provide universal advice – maintain health insurance, keep your legal affairs in order and determine when you’ll collect
“The economy has been difficult for almost everyone, but different family types have different concerns and there are individualized ways to handle them,” said
According to the latest U.S. Census figures, there were 31 million single-person households in the U.S. in 2010, up 15% since 2000 and four times more than the 7 million in 1960. Married couples represent fewer than half (48%) of households (the first time that figure has been less than half since data collection on families began in 1940) and only 20% of all households in the U.S. are married with children.
Here are tips for each family type, a sampling of those provided in the full publication:
Couples in a First Marriage:
- Save using a combination of financial products to create guaranteed lifetime income for both spouses.
- Communicate openly about financial expectations and differences. Set goals and spending budgets for pre- and post-retirement spending.
- Recognize the impact of supporting others when planning for retirement.
Couples in a Second Marriage:
- Have legal documents that define obligations and resource ownership, considering previous and current spouses and children from both marriages.
- Keep in mind that supporting other family members may affect your own retirement savings and future financial security.
- Learn about special issues related to saving for retirement and planning for lifetime income for your family structure. Non-married partners may not have the same employee benefits rights as married couples. Determine your rights and those of your partner.
- A will is essential for division of assets among your partner, children and other family members in accordance with your wishes.
Widows and Widowers:
- Consider financial products that provide retirement protection, such as long-term care insurance and those offering a steady stream of guaranteed income for life.
- Seek professional legal and financial advice to determine which estate planning and retirement plan documents should be revised following the loss of a spouse.
Divorced and Separated Individuals: