The single life is appealing to a growing number of Americans, but
married couples may tend to have the edge when it comes to money. They
are more likely to own a home, save and invest more, according to a new
survey from TD Ameritrade.
With singles accounting for 45
percent of all U.S. adults, it’s more important than ever for those
choosing the single lifestyle to empower themselves financially. TD
Ameritrade’s Singles & Money survey of 1,000 unmarried and 1,000
married adults (ages 37 and older) reveals that less than one-third of
single Americans (29 percent) rate themselves as very financially secure
compared with 43 percent of married individuals.
shows that singles tend to have more friends than married people, are
more likely to volunteer their time and are as healthy or healthier as
their married peers. When it comes to finances, however, the picture
isn’t as rosy.
Singles make an average of $8,800 less in personal income than their
married peers ($52,900 versus $61,700)
They’re much less likely to own a home than married couples (58
percent versus 90 percent)
Four in ten working singles spend their entire paycheck each month
with no money toward savings (versus 37 percent married)
“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,” said 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. The logical
conclusion is not that one should simply marry to save money! The
substantive insight is that both married and single investors can learn
best practices from one another.”
Singles’ Financial Habits
Nearly one-third (29 percent) of
singles cite “having complete control over the household finances” as
the biggest benefit to not being married. But, when it comes to saving
and investing, two heads may be better than one.
Fewer singles believe they are very knowledgeable about the stock
market (16 percent of singles versus 26 percent of married individuals)
Three in 10 unmarried Americans aren’t saving for anything, compared
to 17 percent married
A quarter (27 percent) have emergency funds, versus 39 percent married
Don’t mess with their food or coffee; in tough times, four in 10
singles would be unwilling to cut back on eating out and about a
quarter wouldn’t sacrifice coffee or take-out
Three in 10 (28 percent) singles classify
their retirement savings as “I’ll scrape by,” while nearly a quarter (23
percent) identify as “super savers.”
Forty-four percent are saving for retirement, versus six in 10 (63
One-third (34 percent) of unmarried Americans expect to be very secure
in retirement, versus 52 percent for married
Almost half (46 percent) of singles are worried about running out of
money in retirement, versus 38 percent for married
More than one-third (36 percent) of singles want to fully retire but
believe they won’t be able to afford it, versus 29 percent for married
“The good news is that singles can redefine the American dream on their
own terms by taking financially prudent steps such as saving for
retirement early, sharing expenses with a roommate or family member and
establishing an emergency fund. This can help level the playing field
with their married peers,” Demmissie says.
Demmissie points out a few ideas to help get singles on the path to
Enlist a financial accountability partner: Married Americans
say the single biggest financial benefit of being married is the moral
support offered by their partner to keep them on track/on budget. Find
a friend or family member who can fill this role.
Knowledge is power: An educated investor is a confident
investor. Take advantage of free tools and resources to learn investing
and saving basics.
Take a cue from the Golden Girls: Roommates can provide
companionship and help lessen the financial burden whether you own a
home or rent.
Establish an emergency fund: The usual rule of thumb is to
build up three to six months of living expenses, but it can vary based
on individual circumstances.
Save early for retirement: The sooner you start, the longer
your savings have to grow. Aim to max out your 401(k) and when your
budget allows, also contribute to an IRA.
TD Ameritrade’s financial consultants want to help investors of all ages
and experience levels set and pursue financial goals that fit their
lives. They will take the time to listen and understand what matters to
you before you invest. Learn about the four steps to goal planning at https://www.tdameritrade.com/investment-guidance/setting-financial-goals.page.
About TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
investors and independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) have
turned to TD Ameritrade’s (Nasdaq: AMTD) technology, people and education to
help make investing and trading easier to understand and do. Online or
over the phone. In a branch or with an independent RIA. First-timer or
sophisticated trader. Our clients want to take control, and we help them
decide how - bringing Wall Street to Main Street for more than 40 years.
TD Ameritrade has time and again been recognized
as a leader in investment services. Please visit TD Ameritrade’s newsroom
or www.amtd.com for
more information, or read our stories at Fresh
Brokerage services provided by TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA (www.FINRA.org)/SIPC (www.SIPC.org).
Survey conducted by Head Solutions Group
Group (U.S.) Inc., is a leading market research partner for Financial
Services companies in North America. With offices in New
York, Toronto and Montreal, Head delivers the deep customer insights
that increase institutional knowledge and propel business action. TD
Ameritrade and Head Solutions Group are separate and unaffiliated firms
and are not responsible for each other’s services or policies.
About the 2017 Singles & Money Survey
online survey was conducted with 2,019 American adults aged 37 and older
by Head Solutions Group, between August 11 and August 14, 2017, on
behalf of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation. The statistical margin of
error for the total sample of N=2,019 within the target group is +/-
2.19 percent. This means that in 19 out of 20 cases, survey results will
differ by no more than 2.19 percentage points in either direction from
what would have been obtained by the opinions of all target group
members in the United States. Sample was drawn from major regions in
proportion to the U.S. Census.
Source: TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
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