The Single Life

How are single Americans faring financially in 2016? A new study aimed to find out, and the answers may surprise you.

Insurer Northwestern Mutual put the study together, comparing how single life is different for men and women, and how each see things differently than their married counterparts.

Here are some of the results:

  • Overall, single men and women are generally less satisfied with their financial circumstances than married Americans:
  • More than half of single women (55%) and nearly half of single men (49%) are unhappy with their financial situations compared to one third of married women and even fewer married men.
  • Singles are nearly twice as likely as married people to feel “not at all” financially secure” (38% of single men and women combined versus 23% of married men and women combined)
  • As a result, financial anxiety runs higher among singles. More than four in 10 (45%) of single men and half (50%) of single women say they feel either a moderate or a lot of anxiety about their personal financial security – a notably higher percentage than married individuals (35% married men and 41% married women).
  • This low level of financial confidence may be a function of gaps in planning:
  • Two in three singles are not confident that their financial plan can withstand market cycles
  • Half of all singles (49%) have not spoken to anyone about retirement – double the percentage for married individuals (24%)
  • Two thirds of singles do not have a financial advisor

For single women, on the other hand, the most pressing priority appears to be relief from financial obligations, with six in 10 (compared to 46% of single men) choosing peace of mind from not worrying about day-to-day expenses as the leading benefit of financial security.

Notably, despite the financial pressure, single women are generally more positive about various aspects of their lives.

Three quarters of single women (74%) are happy with their social lives compared to two thirds of single men (66%) and they also indicate a higher level of satisfaction with their family life and physical well-being.”

Where to Find Your (Financial Security) Bliss

So, what is the key to happiness? It seems from this, and other, similar studies that planning has a lot to do with how content people are with their finances.

Most of this is easy to understand on a practical level: having adequate savings and no debt helps to build confidence that you can deal with emergencies. It also helps to build a solid foundation for creating real wealth for the future.

So, how do you build a plan? Start by getting someone else involved – a professional at your credit union. Your CU will help you to put a solid savings plan together, in ways that work best for you.

After all, as a not-for-profit financial institution that’s owned by members like you, your credit union will give you advice that you can trust.

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