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Study finds people think retirement would be easier without a spouse

September 20, 2011

| Money Rates Columnist

A new survey from Charles Schwab has found that married couples think planning for retirement would be easier if they were single. Most single people agreed with them.

Ironically, the same survey found that married couples are doing a much better job of adding to their retirement savings and money market accounts than single people. Survey respondents--married and single alike--admitted that having a spouse adding to those savings accounts and money market accounts doesn't hurt either.

Despite believing that retirement would be simpler if they were alone, 38 percent of married couples were confident about their retirement preparedness, compared to only 32 percent of singles.

Here are some of the findings:

  • 53 percent of married Americans and 69 percent of single Americans think retirement planning would be easier without a spouse.
  • 85 percent of the marrieds are already saving for retirement while 67 percent of the singles are.
  • 65 percent of married people felt not having a spouse adding to the household checking account or contributing to the family savings accounts would make their life harder. Some 57 percent of the single respondents felt the same way.
  • More than half of the respondents--58 percent--said it would be easier to decide when to retire if they were alone and 62 percent said it would be easier to decide where to retire.

Although married couples can often take advantage of the best savings accounts by having two incomes, MSN Money recently noted that singles enjoy greater freedom when it comes to selecting investments and deciding how much to save. Still, MSN noted that married people in the 55-to-64 age group typically amass about four times as much wealth as their single counterparts.

What's more, married couples get to share meals, utility bills and house payments, allowing them to reduce per-person expenses more than two single people. And when it comes to Social Security, married couples have more options for receiving their benefits.


Your responses to ‘Study finds people think retirement would be easier without a spouse’

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AVC advisory

2 October 2011 at 12:39 am

Loads of contradictory statistics! Not sure how this survey was set up. Simple take away for us is that clients are confused and unsure when it comes to making decisions about their financial future. We hear (and feel) that everyday.

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