If retirement planning requires much strategizing for couples, singles have even more work to do.
"If you're hoping to get married, do not behave as though you can postpone planning and saving until that occurs," says Lisa Colletti, director of planning for Aspiriant in Manhattan.
Reduce taxes. Singles have fewer opportunities for tax breaks such as child tax credits and spouse exemptions, but there are options. Save as much as possible in your company's retirement plan, and if you qualify, go further and contribute to a traditional IRA that grows tax deferred, says Andrew Schwartz, a financial adviser at Madison Planning Group in White Plains.
Rein in spending. Singles tend to spend more on clothes, entertainment, eating out and other niceties because they don't have a spouse or family obligations. "It's easier to feel like you have more to spend than you do. Make a budget and stick to it," says Gary Borowiec of Atlas Advisory Group in Cranford, New Jersey.
Protect yourself. You may not need life insurance to replace your income for family members, but disability and long-term care insurance are arguably more important for singles than married couples, Colletti says. "Think about what happens if you're disabled or elderly and unable to care for yourself."
Take advantage of your freedom. Expand your horizon. Consider retiring overseas. Says Mariana Lima, vice president of business development of Panama Relocation Tours in Dallas, "If you're living on Social Security or a limited income alone, your money may go further in places like Panama, which is often [tops] on lists of the best places to retire."