Singles Have More Retirement Concerns Than Married Couples

Single people are saving less and more worried about being secure in retirement than their married counterparts, a survey finds.

Being single as opposed to having the support of a spouse puts a person at a financial disadvantage in many ways, TD Ameritrade found in a survey of 2,000 adults ages 37 and older.

While 44% of single people are saving for retirement, this jumps to 63% among married people. Just more than one-third, 34%, of singles expect to be very financially secure in retirement, compared to 52% of married people. Forty-six percent of unmarried people worry about running out of money in retirement, compared to 38% of married folk. Thirty-six percent of singles do not think they will be able to afford to fully retire, compared to 29% of married people.

Thirty percent of singles are not saving for anything, compared to 17% of married people. Twenty-seven percent of singles have an emergency fund, compared to 39% of married people. But even in tough times, 40% of singles would not cut back on eating out, and 25% would not give up coffee or take-out.

Singles also earn less than couples; their average income is $52,900, compared to $61,700 of married people—a difference of $8,800. However, a large percentage of both singles (40%) and married people (37%) are not saving anything each month and spending their entire paycheck.

“While an increasing number of Americans are finding that remaining single can have its virtues, there is one key area making the single life potentially more difficult: money,” says Lule Demmissie, managing director of retirement and long-term investing at TD Ameritrade. “Having a spouse to split the mortgage, household expenses and insurance can make basic living costs more manageable. On top of that, for couples who file jointly, marriage can help reduce their tax burden.”