Q – I am single and in my early 30s. I hope to one day settle down and get married, but as luck would have it, I have yet to meet my prince charming. Do you have any advice on how a single person can secure retirement and still be able to pay their mortgage? Ingrid. S, Waterloo, Ontario
A – Your situation is actually fairly common. When you are in a couple, you can share costs. When you are single, the buck stops with you. So my first piece of advice is to track your expenses. Know exactly what you are spending and how much disposable income you have. Create a budget that allows for the mandatory expenses as well as the discretionary ones.
As a single person, you should be saving 10% to 15% of your income each year for retirement. Check with your employer to see if they offer a company pension plan.
Next, make efforts to increase your salary. Look for employment opportunities that pay more then you are currently making. Upgrade with courses at school or hire a headhunter to find a position where you can make more money. Don’t be afraid to move – go where the money is!
Third, take on a roommate. It might cramp your style, but it will allow you to cut costs and free up some money for investing and savings. This is a short-term arrangement that can help you save thousands.
Fourth, have an emergency fund worth three months of monthly expenses. Put this into a Tax-Free Savings Account to cover you against the unexpected. Purchase some disability insurance. As a single person, you rely solely on yourself for income, and if you were to be injured or in an accident, you could be faced with expenses you cannot afford.
Check with your employer to see if they have disability coverage for you, and if not, get some.
Finally, create a financial plan. Look for a fee-for-service Certified Financial Planner in your area and design a long-term plan to meet your goals. When you do meet Mr. Right, you can alter your plans but for now, it’s all up to you. – R.T.
Robyn Thompson, CFP, is the founder of Castlemark Wealth Management, a boutique financial advisory firm, specializing in customized financial, investment, insurance, and retirement planning. Phone 416-828-7159 or email today to firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-obligation, no-charge Castlemark Integrity Financial Planning consultation.
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The foregoing is for general information purposes only and is the opinion of the writer. No guarantee of investment performance is made or implied. It is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice. Please contact the author to discuss your particular circumstances.