Successful Single Living

Single women today are anxious about their finances according to Northwestern Mutual’s 2016 Planning & Progress Study. Financial anxiety runs high among singles — particularly single women — who are more likely than single men or married people of either gender to say they experience a moderate or a lot of anxiety about their personal financial security.

The good news is, financial anxiety could be cured with some basic financial planning. Chantel Bonneau, wealth management advisor for Northwestern Mutual, says women can beat the financial blues — just consider the following:

    1. Don’t wait. Get started now. Don’t hold off for a raise or wait until you turn 30 or 40. Every day matters when it comes to money — it’s all about deferred growth.  Yesterday was the day and tomorrow it won’t be any easier. For every million you need in retirement, you’d need to save about $285 per month starting at age 25. If you wait until you’re 35, this number goes up to about $667 per month.
    2. Protect Your Income. Many often overlook disability insurance and this is about you and you’re ability to earn a living. Protecting your paycheck is crucial. Even if the company you work for provides group disability insurance, you still need your own individual coverage which stays with you wherever you work. And if you’re an entrepreneur, you need it even more.
    3. Prioritize retirement savings. If you’re single, retirement is all on you. Single women’s pressing priority is to be released from financial obligation, and once retirement planning is underway, the worry begins to diminish. Try to put away at least 10 percent toward retirement or close to that if you’re just getting started, and over time work your way up to about 20 percent.
    4. Know how much it costs be you. If you love to travel, shop, spend money on gym memberships or donate to charities, you need a good idea on where you stand financially and choose where to spend your money by making decisions on information, not just feelings. Be thoughtful about your budget and where your money goes.
    5. Because you are forward thinking, you deserve a good partner in your planning. If you’re a single good earner, a planning partner can pay attention to your specific needs and work with you over time, tailoring a plan for you personally in lieu of a cookie-cutter option. And, buy a home because you want one and it makes sense based on where you live, not because you think you’re supposed to.

Bonneau says every woman’s situation is different and one philosophy doesn’t work for all. “Evaluate your own habits and follow an individual plan that you can execute. Maximize the opportunities you have or can create — this will help propel your financial future.”

Interview by Mavian Arocha-Rowe
Photo by Alexandru Zdrobău

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