The Single Person’s Guide to a Great and Happy Retirement: Guest Post by Blair Thomas

As a person completely enjoying the freedom of being single, retirement sounds like a blast. A little planning should go into it, so that the party that is coming down the tracks is absolutely worth the wait. So here are a few things to consider along the ride.

• Always plan for retirement no matter what time of the month it is.

• Take ten percent out of every check and put it away in a savings account.

• Once that ten percent has grown into some money, talk with your bank or your credit union and find ways to begin investing. See what plans they have that will work with your budget.

• Don’t make huge sacrifices along the way. Remember, not all of us make it to retirement, so remember to laugh and have fun as well.

• If your car is still holding together and you can make it a few more years with a repair here and there, don’t buy that new Ford F250 that you have been eyeing at the dealership down the road. Take a deep breath, make those cheaper repairs, and wait a few more years for your investments to grow a little more; as well as the savings account. You just might be able to pay more cash down, and keep the payments lower. Thereby saving yourself money in interest you would have paid.

• Despite the fact that your computer is ready to die, don’t always go for the newest in technology. It really hurts to not to, but it may save you a few dollars in the long run. But, if you can’t afford not to, go ahead and do it anyway. Weigh in all the benefits of either way before you jump to the purchase.

All in all

These few simple things might just get you where you want to be in retirement. Take the advice from your banker to heart, but always be cautious if it sounds too good to be true. Protect your money and it will be there when you need it.

But also remember to enjoy the trip. Life is full of surprises and you want to be the one smiling when it comes your way.

Home owner verses rental

Depending where you are in your life’s work, it should depend upon what you do with a house. If your job moves around a lot, you better just rent; and if you have been where you are for quite some time, it doesn’t hurt to invest in a home that you love.

You don’t have to have something huge, just something you are comfortable in. When the time comes for retirement, if the house is not paid off, you could potentially sell it for enough money so that you can pay off a nice home to retire in. Then you only have taxes and small repairs to worry about. As well as some home owner’s insurance. If you don’t have family to pass it to, then renting is probably the best thing. That way, you don’t have to worry about anything. You are not the owner.

So weigh the decisions heavily and figure out which ones will work the best for who you are. In the meantime, enjoy the heck out of things; you only get one trip through this life.

About the Author: Hi, I’m Blair Thomas the Co-founder of emerchantbroker.com and we’re the #1 offshore merchant account company in the US.  I have 10+ years of experience in the electronic payments industry, managing several registered ISO’s and successful agent offices. I work hard during the day and spend my time away from the office developing my music career as a singer songwriter signed to Old Scratch Records.

New Book Project Is On!

Last January was when I first decided, with lots of input from my agent, on the theme of my new book project. It is about the many creative ways that we are living now that Americans are spending more years of their adult lives unmarried than married, and only about 20 percent of all households are comprised of mom, dad, and the kids. These are huge change from decades past. (See below for more on the theme of the book.)

Continue reading

Single-at-Heart: What Do We Know about It?

Because of the prominent mention of people who are single-at-heart in the New York Times, I have been getting more inquiries than usual about what it means to be single-at-heart. Research on the concept is just beginning. Below are links to what I have written so far, and what I have learned from the first 1,200 people who took the single-at-heart survey.

Continue reading

How to Become a Guest Blogger

I love featuring voices other than mine here at “All Things Single (and More).” Although I read widely about single life, think critically, study the academic journals, and do my own original research, my perspective is limited by my own life experiences. So, even though I always appreciate hearing from people who share my point of view, I also greatly value those whose single lives have been very different.

Continue reading

Flying Solo Near 60: Guest Post by Jacqueline Marshall

Sitting in my favorite chair, sipping a cup of dark roast, I realized my 59th birthday is three months away. After a moment of terror, I fell into thinking about my life so far and where 58 years has “brought” me: I am approaching 60, was laid-off 6 months ago, I’m unattached, and starting my fifth career. The only constant in my life I could come up with, the one thread tying the patchwork pieces together, is depression.

“Wow,” I said to my cats, “the pinnacle of almost six decades of living! I never could have imagined.” Then, I did what anyone in this situation would do, I laughed. I don’t know what else to do with life sometimes. Besides, though my pinnacle of achievement is not as stupendous as I thought it would be by now, I’m happy (when I’m not depressed).

Continue reading

The Marriage Penalty That Has Nothing to Do with Taxes

If you’ve read Singled Out, you know my take on the so-called marriage penalty in taxes – it is actually a bonus. Single people are the one who get penalized. A law review article comes to the same conclusion.

There’s a different sense of the marriage penalty that actually is real, according to sociologists Naomi Gerstel and Natalia Sarkisian. They talk about marriage as a greedy institution, because it wants all of the interpersonal time and attention for itself. As I’ve been discussing at Living Single, people who are married pay less attention to other people in their lives than do people who are single. They are less likely to stay in close touch with their siblings, friends, parents, or neighbors, or to support them in emotional or practical ways.

Continue reading

Dating, Moving In, And Losing Contact with Friends?

People who are married or in a romantic relationship name about 4 people (other than their partner) they can turn to in a severe crisis. Single people name about 6. Those were the results of a not-yet-published study (that I discussed here) that inspired headlines such as “Falling in love costs you friends.”

Continue reading

Should We Blame Erik Erikson for the Myth of the Isolated Single Person?

Even though I’ve been a research psychologist for my entire adult life, I have to admit that I had forgotten something significant about Erik Erikson and his stage theory. I was reminded of it while reading Robin Marantz Henig’s story in the New York Times Magazine titled, “What is it about 20-somethings?” Here’s the relevant excerpt:

Continue reading