Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

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austin757
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Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by austin757 »

Hi all,

I often read threads on BH regarding financial planning for married couples with or without children, and not as many for single folks.

I am a single guy (26) who will likely never marry or even engage in dating; it's just not my thing and I get very uncomfortable when thinking of doing so. Are there any considerations for a single person when it comes to investing/saving that's different than for married people? Perhaps paying for LTD insurance since I won't have a spouse's income to rely on? Or taking some larger risks with investments since I could afford to lose more? Or even just investing less than what I have been doing, since I may not need a large nest egg to live off of. I also don't think I will ever need a mortgage for a primary residence (haven't ruled this out yet for rental property).

I have a home in a nice location that has no mortgage that I could move into anytime. So not having to save up for a primary residence is one less thing for me to worry about. I just wanted to get your take on any differences for us single people. Thanks.

Regards,
Austin
Last edited by austin757 on Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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9mm
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by 9mm »

austin757 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:17 pm Hi all,

I often read threads on BH regarding financial planning for married couples with or without children, and not as many for single folks.

I am single guy (26) who will likely never marry or even engage in dating; it's just not my thing and I get very uncomfortable when thinking of doing so. Are there any considerations for a single person when it comes to investing/saving that's different than for married people? Perhaps paying for LTD insurance since I won't have a spouse's income to rely on? Or taking some larger risks with investments since I could afford to lose more? Or even just investing less than what I have been doing, since I may not need a large nest egg to live off of. I also don't think I will ever need a mortgage for a primary residence (haven't ruled this out yet for rental property).

I have a home in a nice location that has no mortgage that I could move into anytime. So not having to save up for a primary residence is one less thing for me to worry about. I just wanted to get your take on any differences for us single people. Thanks.

Regards,
Austin
The only thing different could be that you would need less of a nest egg than someone who is saving to provide for a family. But you are still young and if you are interested in maybe someday possibly having kids, just keep investing like you would otherwise. Save as much of your monthly income as you can, investing it wisely in low cost index funds. Once you have 25X your expenses, you are financially independent. If your expenses will be higher in the future due to having a family, then it will just take longer to get to financial independence. Otherwise, having life insurance and things like that are probably not necessary. I would still have a will if I was you, but you don’t necessarily need it depending on your state. Don’t worry about LTD for now, you are too young.

Enjoy this time of freedom, and focus on building your skills and growing your career in order to increase your earnings so that once you do have a family, if you end up doing that, or whatever you want to do, you will have momentum in your career and higher earning ability. You will not have the same health or energy in the future. Best wishes!
cnblure
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by cnblure »

I will also probably remain single. I'm concerned about what to do when I get up there in age, or can no longer take care of myself.
backpacker61
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by backpacker61 »

I'm single also.

One thing you may need to do some work on is that you will need to plan for incapacity, advanced healthcare directives, and durable power of attorney.

I've recently helped an elderly family member with managing her finances (and now closing out her estate), but there is really no one to do that for me. There are bank trust departments that handle senior care; scheduling appointments, submitting tax documents and such for people that are no longer able to do this for themselves. You should consult with an attorney for a recommendation of a bank that does this well (most do not, especially not the big nationwide banks).

Who will make decisions on your behalf if you reach a point at which you are no longer able to?
You should have a will and PoA drafted with these considerations.

You may actually need more money, since you would be maintaining a household on one Social Security benefit for the entire duration of your retirement.
Last edited by backpacker61 on Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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inverter
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by inverter »

26, single, but looking for a spouse/SO. Would recommend the LTD. I just decided to do it so I can maintain my nice standard of living if something were to happen.
alex_686
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by alex_686 »

You analysis of home ownership is a bit off. This implies you need to save more money, not less. I am a little bit confused by you having a home with no mortgage. While I could make some guess, I will ignore.

There are 2 points here.

The first is the struggle to get the money for the down payment. We can ignore that.

The second is that a home is a decent investment. The mortgage is a forced form of savings. Real estate is a good hedge against inflation. There is favorable tax code treatment. At the end you get to live in the house rent free. Imputed rent.

So extra investment will be needed.
Former brokerage operations & mutual fund accountant. I hate risk, which is why I study and embrace it.
alex_686
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by alex_686 »

Being single implies a higher level of risk thus a higher need for savings.

Think of marriage as joint probability. If you become disable then your spouse can pick up the slack. When you retire odds are that one of you will die early, leaving the other a windfall. As such you need to save less.

I have seen studies suggesting that having a spouse is worth millions over the lifetime of a marriage. You might laugh at the though of a spouse driving you out to some out-patient surgery, but the cost of replicating that privately is high. Hospitals won't let you take a Uber home after you take drugs.
Last edited by alex_686 on Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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whodidntante
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by whodidntante »

cnblure wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:35 pm I will also probably remain single. I'm concerned about what to do when I get up there in age, or can no longer take care of myself.
Family is sometimes helpful, sometimes not. If you're really unlucky, your family will take advantage of you. It's disgusting, but I've seen it happen myself.
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austin757
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by austin757 »

alex_686 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:49 pm You analysis of home ownership is a bit off. This implies you need to save more money, not less. I am a little bit confused by you having a home with no mortgage. While I could make some guess, I will ignore.

There are 2 points here.

The first is the struggle to get the money for the down payment. We can ignore that.

The second is that a home is a decent investment. The mortgage is a forced form of savings. Real estate is a good hedge against inflation. There is favorable tax code treatment. At the end you get to live in the house rent free. Imputed rent.

So extra investment will be needed.
I agree a home is decent investment. I should have been clearer when referring to my homeownership situation. For me, I won't need an expensive home with 3000sqft and 5 bedrooms, for example.

Since it'll just be me (I'm not home much either), I could be more than satisfied with a smaller, less expensive house. With no mortgage, my monthly living expenses would be quite low.

The money that would be normally earmarked for PITA could be invested or used for some other purchase.
alex_686
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by alex_686 »

Lastly, there is a question of family, which is kind of implied in the question.

Not having kids means not having those expenses. So there is a savings there.

However, having family does provide a support network that is valuable. Who will take care of you when you get Alzheimer? To a certain extent this can be done via private insurance. But then there is a question of who is going to be monitoring and making decisions for you. Of course, this can be privately replicated was well.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by tashnewbie »

I think the general investing/personal finance advice is the same regardless of marital status: live below your means and save/invest the difference.

Agree with others that your own occupation LTD would be worth looking into and having an estate plan and plan for when you may become incapable of handling your own affairs including POAs. I’m also single, with no relatives who are much younger who could help if I become incapable of handling my own affairs, so I’m concerned about that and figuring out my plans.
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Callisto
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by Callisto »

I take higher risk using leverage (SSO taxable, Hedgefundie tax-advantaged), but I think a better rationale is that you are not putting anyone else's future at risk. End of the day, you will reap the benefits or suffer the consequences, not anyone else. Its the same outcome as being able to afford to lose more, but I do think the reasoning is different.

I think LTD is also a good idea, though again, for a slightly different reason. End of the day, if you are not yet at the point where you can sustain yourself without working some job, you should take precautions to ensure your own survival. I don't think it really matters if you have a spouse or not.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by JS-Elcano »

I am single too and have always been. :sharebeer I have always felt that I actually need to save more for retirement than a married couple or a family because I have no one to share expenses with (single life is more expensive than that of couples) and I won't be able to even hope for support from children in old age and may need to move into assisted living or a CCRC earlier. I am not saying that everyone who has children can count on help, but 'on average' there is at least the possibility that a spouse or a child could assist a little bit at least initially when minor support with tasks of daily living is needed. Not a so a for single, childless person. In fact this realization made me think about attaining financial independence and led me to Bogleheads :D .

I do have LTD insurance (60% of my salary up 15k/month until FRA, 80% of my salary up to 20k/month for catastrophic disability until FRA and 60% thereafter), but no LTCi. I am in my late 40s, so I might still change my mind and buy it later. I do own my home, but it is more expensive to keep it up on a single salary or on a single SS benefits in retirement because the things that might break or need replacement are all expensive (roof, HVAC, painting, even annual maintenance like tree trimming and pressure washing). I also spend more money on international travel than my friends and colleagues, especially those with children. So, my expenses (by choice) are not really that low. It's not that I am eating Ramen and live in a studio apartment just because I am single and *could* live like when I was a student. My lifestyle did get more expensive as I was starting to earn more money. It's not that people with children start spending more money as they get to be in their 30 and 40s only because they have children. We all develop new habits desires and interests and all of that usually costs money. If you don't have a spouse or children you will fill your time and spend your money with other things. The options are endless. :D

I find that I have more hobbies than my married friends (whether they have children or not) and that is one big plus I see for approaching retirement. I have plenty of things to retire *to* and can't wait until I have save up enough. :beer

What I do find is that I have more control over my savings strategy and over how I spend money because I don't have to get someone else on board and I am not responsible for dependents. That makes it a lot easier. But save you still must.
JS-Elcano
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by JS-Elcano »

austin757 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:17 pm Hi all,

I often read threads on BH regarding financial planning for married couples with or without children, and not as many for single folks.

I am a single guy (26) who will likely never marry or even engage in dating; it's just not my thing and I get very uncomfortable when thinking of doing so. Are there any considerations for a single person when it comes to investing/saving that's different than for married people? Perhaps paying for LTD insurance since I won't have a spouse's income to rely on? Or taking some larger risks with investments since I could afford to lose more? Or even just investing less than what I have been doing, since I may not need a large nest egg to live off of. I also don't think I will ever need a mortgage for a primary residence (haven't ruled this out yet for rental property).

I have a home in a nice location that has no mortgage that I could move into anytime. So not having to save up for a primary residence is one less thing for me to worry about. I just wanted to get your take on any differences for us single people. Thanks.

Regards,
Austin
I am doing a standard 60/40 AA and have never felt that I can take more risk because I am single. In fact, I feel since I have no one else I can fall back on or hope to help me I must make sure I have saved enough at all times (now and later in retirement) and can't take any extra risks. I am not sure why you think you don't need a large nest egg? You have the same hours in every day that you will fill with interests, hobbies, whatever, which also costs money usually. There is no one to tell you you can't afford that expensive car or downtown condo or new toy for your hobby. You need to make a plan just like anyone else. Yes, worst case scenario you can downsize and limit yourself to the minimum to survive, which is not something you can do with a family, but who wants to live like that? So, plan for the good live not the worst case scenario.
Last edited by JS-Elcano on Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by Dottie57 »

inverter wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:39 pm 26, single, but looking for a spouse/SO. Would recommend the LTD. I just decided to do it so I can maintain my nice standard of living if something were to happen.
+1. Important to have for anyone.

Financially you need ro do the same as all others. Know your expenses, try to avoid lifestyle creep. Save/invest 15%+ of gross income. Enjoy your life.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by joe8d »

"I have seen studies suggesting that having a spouse is worth millions over the lifetime of a marriage. You might laugh at the though of a spouse driving you out to some out-patient surgery, but the cost of replicating that privately is high. Hospitals won't let you take a Uber home after you take drugs."

Yes, very true.
All the Best, | Joe
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by rich126 »

Make sure you still do things such as a will, poer of attorney, etc. so if you have some accident you will have someone you want to make those choices for you.

I’ve been single into my 50s although that may be changing. The only LTD I have had was through my jobs although that sounds like a good idea. Also figure out beneficiaries on accounts and any life insurance at work. I was a bit tardy getting to this stuff and was lucky not to have had any medical events.

Try and establish a good group of friends especially if you never change your mind because eventually you will need help for medical stuff even minor surgery if your family isn’t always around.

In my younger days I didn’t mind being alone and if lonely would just call a friend or go out but as I reached my 50s I have found being alone much more difficult and am thankful for my gf. You may not change your mind but be mindful of my comments about friends.
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gr7070
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by gr7070 »

You might want a slightly bigger EF since you have a higher income risk than a two income family. Six months minimum??? Maybe 8 months?
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austin757
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by austin757 »

JS-Elcano wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:00 pm I am single too and have always been. :sharebeer I have always felt that I actually need to save more for retirement than a married couple or a family because I have no one to share expenses with (single life is more expensive than that of couples) and I won't be able to even hope for support from children in old age and may need to move into assisted living or a CCRC earlier. I am not saying that everyone who has children can count on help, but 'on average' there is at least the possibility that a spouse or a child could assist a little bit at least initially when minor support with tasks of daily living is needed. Not a so a for single, childless person. In fact this realization made me think about attaining financial independence and led me to Bogleheads :D .

I do have LTD insurance (60% of my salary up 15k/month until FRA, 80% of my salary up to 20k/month for catastrophic disability until FRA and 60% thereafter), but no LTCi. I am in my late 40s, so I might still change my mind and buy it later. I do own my home, but it is more expensive to keep it up on a single salary or on a single SS benefits in retirement because the things that might break or need replacement are all expensive (roof, HVAC, painting, even annual maintenance like tree trimming and pressure washing). I also spend more money on international travel than my friends and colleagues, especially those with children. So, my expenses (by choice) are not really that low. It's not that I am eating Ramen and live in a studio apartment just because I am single and *could* live like when I was a student. My lifestyle did get more expensive as I was starting to earn more money. It's not that people with children start spending more money as they get to be in their 30 and 40s only because they have children. We all develop new habits desires and interests and all of that usually costs money. If you don't have a spouse or children you will fill your time and spend your money with other things. The options are endless. :D

I find that I have more hobbies than my married friends (whether they have children or not) and that is one big plus I see for approaching retirement. I have plenty of things to retire *to* and can't wait until I have save up enough. :beer

What I do find is that I have more control over my savings strategy and over how I spend money because I don't have to get someone else on board and I am not responsible for dependents. That makes it a lot easier. But save you still must.
I can relate to having more hobbies (read: expensive) than most of my married colleagues. I expect the majority of my discretionary income to go towards my hobby and passion. I do a lot of traveling for work, so doing international travel will probably not be my thing.

Regarding your LTD insurance, is this something that was offered by your employer? Since I'm still pretty young, I have yet to learn all there is about LTD. I believe my company offers a maximum of 9k a month until FRA, at no cost to the employee. If one feels that is not enough to sustain their lifestyle, can additional coverage be purchased externally? Thanks for your response.
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austin757
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by austin757 »

tashnewbie wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:03 pm I think the general investing/personal finance advice is the same regardless of marital status: live below your means and save/invest the difference.

Agree with others that your own occupation LTD would be worth looking into and having an estate plan and plan for when you may become incapable of handling your own affairs including POAs. I’m also single, with no relatives who are much younger who could help if I become incapable of handling my own affairs, so I’m concerned about that and figuring out my plans.
I will be looking at LTD options. Thank you for the advice.
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austin757
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by austin757 »

joe8d wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:51 pm "I have seen studies suggesting that having a spouse is worth millions over the lifetime of a marriage. You might laugh at the though of a spouse driving you out to some out-patient surgery, but the cost of replicating that privately is high. Hospitals won't let you take a Uber home after you take drugs."

Yes, very true.
What if mom or dad exists the workforce to be a stay at home parent? Now the family is relying on only one income, which could be risky. I understand that married couples enjoy better tax treatment and higher retirement contributions than single people, though.

Now if both are working and making a large combined salary while living frugally, then yeah, that is hard to achieve as a single person.

I don't see how I will get lucky to ever find a partner who is a high earner and sees finances the same way I do. I don't know how you guys get so fortunate to find that ideal person!
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austin757
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by austin757 »

gr7070 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:41 am You might want a slightly bigger EF since you have a higher income risk than a two income family. Six months minimum??? Maybe 8 months?
Right now, I am living at home with my parents, so I have very little need for an EF. When I move out, I will increase this to 8 months minimum. Thank you for the response.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by JoeRetire »

austin757 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:17 pm I am a single guy (26) who will likely never marry or even engage in dating
When I was 26, I thought I knew all the details of my future.
I'm 66 now. I now know how wrong I was.

I advise all 26 year olds, single or not, to make decisions that keep as many future options open as possible. Work hard, save as much as you can, live beneath your means, enjoy every day.

It's not all that hard.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
SpaceMonkey
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by SpaceMonkey »

JoeRetire wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:39 am When I was 26, I thought I knew all the details of my future.
I'm 66 now. I now know how wrong I was.
When I was 34, I thought I was going to be single forever. Now I'm 37, married, with a kid on the way. Life is weird.
inverter
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by inverter »

JoeRetire wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:39 am
austin757 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:17 pm I am a single guy (26) who will likely never marry or even engage in dating
When I was 26, I thought I knew all the details of my future.
I'm 66 now. I now know how wrong I was.

I advise all 26 year olds, single or not, to make decisions that keep as many future options open as possible. Work hard, save as much as you can, live beneath your means, enjoy every day.

It's not all that hard.
Thanks for this... always a good reminder to not pigeon hole yourself at this stage.
alex_686
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by alex_686 »

austin757 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:53 am
joe8d wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:51 pm "I have seen studies suggesting that having a spouse is worth millions over the lifetime of a marriage. You might laugh at the though of a spouse driving you out to some out-patient surgery, but the cost of replicating that privately is high. Hospitals won't let you take a Uber home after you take drugs."

Yes, very true.
What if mom or dad exists the workforce to be a stay at home parent? Now the family is relying on only one income, which could be risky. I understand that married couples enjoy better tax treatment and higher retirement contributions than single people, though.

Now if both are working and making a large combined salary while living frugally, then yeah, that is hard to achieve as a single person.

I don't see how I will get lucky to ever find a partner who is a high earner and sees finances the same way I do. I don't know how you guys get so fortunate to find that ideal person!
If dad exits the workforce there is the optionality of him returning to the workforce if mom becomes disabled. Plus it is not like dad is going to sit around the house all day. There are nonmonetary considerations, which is true even if you don't have kids. Dad can pick up clean house and run errands, letting mom focus on her career. Dad can cook supper so less money is spent eating out. Two can often live as cheap as one.

For perspective, I was a introvert and did not start "dating" until my late 20s. I did not marry until I was 35. I know plenty of people of have formed alternative families or support systems. I know this is easy to say, but nothing ventured nothing gained. Part of life is hazarding new situations and being uncomfortable. Only way to grow.
Former brokerage operations & mutual fund accountant. I hate risk, which is why I study and embrace it.
fourwheelcycle
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by fourwheelcycle »

Wow, 26 and thinking about your investing and LTD future! When I was 26 I was totally focused on getting my working career started. I did not even think about long term savings goals or late-life planning until I was 38 or so (my bad).

I did waste some money and investment worrying time trying to pick individual stocks during my 20s - bought Houston Oil, made some money, thought it was easy; bought Syntex, watched it go up and down, lost some money; bought Apple at $10, watched it go to $30 and back to $10, sold it at $10 - big mistake!

I suggest you aim to max your tax-deferred savings and save at least 25% of your remaining income after taxes. Put it in a simple two or three fund portfolio with 75 to 80 percent in a broad stock market index fund or funds (if you want international) and the rest in a broad bond market index fund. Then enjoy your life. Hopefully you have or will get a job with 60% or more LTD, if not, yes - buy some.

If you remain single, with no one to help you in your old age, you should plan to save for your realistic retirement expenses plus an extra $500K or more (in today's dollars) for qualified, high integrity, personal care and financial management assistance. You can leave it to your favorite charity if you die when you are still healthy and mentally competent.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by fyre4ce »

austin757 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:17 pm Hi all,

I often read threads on BH regarding financial planning for married couples with or without children, and not as many for single folks.

I am a single guy (26) who will likely never marry or even engage in dating; it's just not my thing and I get very uncomfortable when thinking of doing so. Are there any considerations for a single person when it comes to investing/saving that's different than for married people? Perhaps paying for LTD insurance since I won't have a spouse's income to rely on? Or taking some larger risks with investments since I could afford to lose more? Or even just investing less than what I have been doing, since I may not need a large nest egg to live off of. I also don't think I will ever need a mortgage for a primary residence (haven't ruled this out yet for rental property).

I have a home in a nice location that has no mortgage that I could move into anytime. So not having to save up for a primary residence is one less thing for me to worry about. I just wanted to get your take on any differences for us single people. Thanks.

Regards,
Austin
Here's a post on one BH's blog that directly addresses this topic. It's aimed at doctors but 90% of the advice applies to pretty much everyone. I can't improve on it much. I will say a couple things though:

Based on your post, it sounds like you expect to stay single both due to a lack of interest in, and also intimidation by, dating. It's hard for me to tell which factor is more dominant. But you should know that being intimidated is perfectly normal, especially for high-functioning people who have invested a lot into their education and careers. I struggled with dating for a while, but was able to overcome many of my fears by putting myself in situations where I got used to that kind of interaction. If it's something you think you'd like to do, I'd encourage you to make it a priority and seek professional counseling. Just like going to the gym and lifting weights to build muscle, it is a skill and mindset that can be changed and improved over time. And don't let yourself get discouraged by early struggles; it's a journey that takes years. Then again, if you're simply not interested, that's totally OK too.

If you want children without having a spouse or dating, there are a variety of options available (adoption, surrogacy, etc.). These can be wonderful things, and are increasingly very well-accepted socially. You're still young, but consider these options as you move through life. There can be financial costs associated with these options (as well as, of course, with children themselves), so include these in your financial plan if it might be something you want.
Onlineid3089
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by Onlineid3089 »

austin757 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:53 am
joe8d wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:51 pm "I have seen studies suggesting that having a spouse is worth millions over the lifetime of a marriage. You might laugh at the though of a spouse driving you out to some out-patient surgery, but the cost of replicating that privately is high. Hospitals won't let you take a Uber home after you take drugs."

Yes, very true.
What if mom or dad exists the workforce to be a stay at home parent? Now the family is relying on only one income, which could be risky. I understand that married couples enjoy better tax treatment and higher retirement contributions than single people, though.

Now if both are working and making a large combined salary while living frugally, then yeah, that is hard to achieve as a single person.

I don't see how I will get lucky to ever find a partner who is a high earner and sees finances the same way I do. I don't know how you guys get so fortunate to find that ideal person!
I just wanted to chime in that a partner doesn't have to be a high earner to see finances the same as you. My wife is definitely not a high earner, but we are on the same page. If anything, she needs to stop stressing over stuff like whether the six mums she got for this years decorations are too much. She also needs to stop looking at prices every time she sees them for sale to see if they're a buck or two less than we paid :oops:
JS-Elcano
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by JS-Elcano »

austin757 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:43 am
I can relate to having more hobbies (read: expensive) than most of my married colleagues. I expect the majority of my discretionary income to go towards my hobby and passion. I do a lot of traveling for work, so doing international travel will probably not be my thing.

Regarding your LTD insurance, is this something that was offered by your employer? Since I'm still pretty young, I have yet to learn all there is about LTD. I believe my company offers a maximum of 9k a month until FRA, at no cost to the employee. If one feels that is not enough to sustain their lifestyle, can additional coverage be purchased externally? Thanks for your response.
My LTDi was offered as supplemental insurance option through my employer. This basically means you get nothing unless you decide to buy it, but you get a group insurance rate. I had to pass a medical exam to get accepted, but the exam (very comprehensive blood work) didn't cost me anything. You are lucky that your employer offers 9k LTDi, but if you are already making more or anticipate making more in the future I would look into getting more insurance. I think (I could be wrong) it is alo important that you pay your premium from after-tax money. If you don't your benefits will be taxed.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by THY4373 »

alex_686 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:53 pm
I have seen studies suggesting that having a spouse is worth millions over the lifetime of a marriage. You might laugh at the though of a spouse driving you out to some out-patient surgery, but the cost of replicating that privately is high. Hospitals won't let you take a Uber home after you take drugs.
You got a link to said studies I find that figure rather hard to believe? Also out-patient surgery isn't that hard to sort out, if you are single you need to build a network of folks to help you out. I have had two hernia surgeries one when married and one when divorced/single. For the first one my spouse brought me home and for the second one a friend. Worst case I could have hired some help to bring me home and I doubt it would have cost more than a few thousand (I don't consider that high in the grand scheme of things). Unless you are going to surgery a lot I see the whole thing as a non-issue.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by THY4373 »

OP if you do decide to remain single (I have been both married and single now and much prefer the latter). Some good resources on single life and a lot of the inaccurate myths/beliefs against it are addressed by the following resources (I have no connection to either other than being a listener/reader):

Dr. Peter McGraw's Solo Podcast on living a remarkable single life: https://www.petermcgraw.org/podcasts/solo/ .
Dr. Bella DePaulo: http://www.belladepaulo.com/2020/08/one ... ontinuing/

Both of them address various aspects of single life including how to address its challenges and how to leverage its benefits.
dbr
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by dbr »

My anecdotal experience with single friends and/or relatives aging in retirement is that there aren't major differences due to being single, allowing for the fact that some of the numbers are different in detail.

Perhaps the one notable difference is the role played by friends and neighbors distinct from spouse and children in providing social contact and support in old age. My wife is one of those people who gravitate to helping others older than we are, and it makes a difference. I guess the lesson would be go to church or to civic functions, go to the block parties, and don't be that guy that yells at kids to stay off the lawn. We have a couple of older guys who made an institution of the Halloween haunted house in the basement of one of them every year. That opens up the social pathway. Older people can have amazing things to share with younger neighbors and it benefits them too.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by austin757 »

fyre4ce wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:58 am
austin757 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:17 pm Hi all,

I often read threads on BH regarding financial planning for married couples with or without children, and not as many for single folks.

I am a single guy (26) who will likely never marry or even engage in dating; it's just not my thing and I get very uncomfortable when thinking of doing so. Are there any considerations for a single person when it comes to investing/saving that's different than for married people? Perhaps paying for LTD insurance since I won't have a spouse's income to rely on? Or taking some larger risks with investments since I could afford to lose more? Or even just investing less than what I have been doing, since I may not need a large nest egg to live off of. I also don't think I will ever need a mortgage for a primary residence (haven't ruled this out yet for rental property).

I have a home in a nice location that has no mortgage that I could move into anytime. So not having to save up for a primary residence is one less thing for me to worry about. I just wanted to get your take on any differences for us single people. Thanks.

Regards,
Austin
Here's a post on one BH's blog that directly addresses this topic. It's aimed at doctors but 90% of the advice applies to pretty much everyone. I can't improve on it much. I will say a couple things though:

Based on your post, it sounds like you expect to stay single both due to a lack of interest in, and also intimidation by, dating. It's hard for me to tell which factor is more dominant. But you should know that being intimidated is perfectly normal, especially for high-functioning people who have invested a lot into their education and careers. I struggled with dating for a while, but was able to overcome many of my fears by putting myself in situations where I got used to that kind of interaction. If it's something you think you'd like to do, I'd encourage you to make it a priority and seek professional counseling. Just like going to the gym and lifting weights to build muscle, it is a skill and mindset that can be changed and improved over time. And don't let yourself get discouraged by early struggles; it's a journey that takes years. Then again, if you're simply not interested, that's totally OK too.

If you want children without having a spouse or dating, there are a variety of options available (adoption, surrogacy, etc.). These can be wonderful things, and are increasingly very well-accepted socially. You're still young, but consider these options as you move through life. There can be financial costs associated with these options (as well as, of course, with children themselves), so include these in your financial plan if it might be something you want.
Thanks for the link. I'm not a doctor, but I enjoy reading through WCI posts. This is one I haven't seen. I suppose I am a bit intimidated when it comes to dating again. The last couple of relationships I had ended horribly, and I think I am scarred from them LOL.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by alex_686 »

THY4373 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:27 am
alex_686 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:53 pm
I have seen studies suggesting that having a spouse is worth millions over the lifetime of a marriage. You might laugh at the though of a spouse driving you out to some out-patient surgery, but the cost of replicating that privately is high. Hospitals won't let you take a Uber home after you take drugs.
You got a link to said studies I find that figure rather hard to believe? Also out-patient surgery isn't that hard to sort out, if you are single you need to build a network of folks to help you out. I have had two hernia surgeries one when married and one when divorced/single. For the first one my spouse brought me home and for the second one a friend. Worst case I could have hired some help to bring me home and I doubt it would have cost more than a few thousand (I don't consider that high in the grand scheme of things). Unless you are going to surgery a lot I see the whole thing as a non-issue.
It keeps popping up in economic journals for decades. Primarily it tends to be tied into valuing what a person's life is. Sounds macabre but useful when trying to figure out if expensive safety regulations are worth it or wrongful death suits. It is not enough just to calculate what a live-in maid would cost over your lifespan, which was the technique used back mid-century. Married people tend to live longer, be wealthier, and report be happier. Some of it is tied to explaining gender roles and the lower wage scale for woman.
Former brokerage operations & mutual fund accountant. I hate risk, which is why I study and embrace it.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by fyre4ce »

austin757 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:05 pm Thanks for the link. I'm not a doctor, but I enjoy reading through WCI posts. This is one I haven't seen. I suppose I am a bit intimidated when it comes to dating again. The last couple of relationships I had ended horribly, and I think I am scarred from them LOL.
In my experience, one key to success is to have as many options as possible, and to rapidly screen for the qualities you're looking for. Obviously, the pandemic brings major challenges, but it won't last forever.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by Lee_WSP »

austin757 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:53 am
I don't see how I will get lucky to ever find a partner who is a high earner and sees finances the same way I do. I don't know how you guys get so fortunate to find that ideal person!
High earners like doctors and lawyers usually meet each other via work, work related social events or at school.

I have not seen a lot of "couples" or really any couples who are both active on Bogle heads. You really only need one level headed finance person. The other spouse just had to not be a spendthrift.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by celia »

alex_686 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:53 pm I have seen studies suggesting that having a spouse is worth millions over the lifetime of a marriage. You might laugh at the though of a spouse driving you out to some out-patient surgery, but the cost of replicating that privately is high. Hospitals won't let you take a Uber home after you take drugs.
Not only that, I’ve heard that living with another adult, married or not, helps keep you healthier. When you come down with something, the other person will encourage you to see a doctor, where you might have been reluctant to do that if you lived alone.

We were applying for medigap insurance a few years ago to supplement Medicare. Both plans consider each person a separate entity, with separate premiums (married or not), but our Medigap plan asked if we lived with another adult as that would make our premiums be less. At first, I thought that didn’t seem fair, but after thinking about it, it makes sense that they would pay less on our claims since we would seek medical care sooner rather than later (when the medical condition worsened).
austin757 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:56 am Right now, I am living at home with my parents...
This is a major problem unless your parents depend on you helping them. Going back to your old bedroom every night is keeping you from ‘growing’, meeting new people, and experiencing new activities. You are in a rut. Spending money to be indépendant is part of finding your way through life. Even talking to someone while waiting at the laundromat, or standing in line at the market can give you a lead to other contacts or activities. While talking, ask them for directions to the place they are discussing or how they cook or eat a particular food. Let the conversations go where they may. And if something sounds interesting, try it out.

At a minimum, you will gain a new experience that you’ll look back on in the future. And you will meet new people if you engage. Don’t look at it as they’ll never be your best friend, so why engage? Rather, look at others as interesting people who know different things than you do. Talking to them once is better than never having spoken to them at all.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by Dennisl »

Looks like you're in a good position financially. I wouldn't write off the possibly of finding a partner, but that's a personal decision. Agree with post tax disability insurance to cover living expenses and medical costs in case of injury. No need for life insurance. As long as you have your emergency fund intact, you can invest very aggressively. I would. Rec maxing out 401k, HSA and Roth. Even if you like your job in the future, it'll be nice to hit financial independence early so that you can have control over your time and life. You can always tell your boss to shove it if things don't work out.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by tibbitts »

austin757 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:53 am I don't see how I will get lucky to ever find a partner who is a high earner and sees finances the same way I do. I don't know how you guys get so fortunate to find that ideal person!
I'd guess a high percentage of Bogleheads are married, but probably not a high percentage of those are in two-income households, at least not ones where where both incomes are similar. Probably many Bogleheads are in one-income households, at least if you don't count the nearly-mandatory-for-Bogleheads "side hussle" (or two or three or four.)
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by Tamarind »

I think LTD is a good idea until you get to the point when you are ready to stop working. You don't need life insurance as a single person, however.

In line with suggestions above about incapacity and end-of-life care, lifelong single folks need to work extra hard on cultivating found family. Friends you can count on when things go wrong. Ideally you would have a couple of solid friends who are a decade or so younger than you. This is not only so that someone would look out for you or be your PoA, but also because this culture can make single people very lonely and loneliness is bad for your physical and mental health, especially as you age.

You may want to save extra for LTC expenses or a continuing care contract so that you can move more gracefully through higher levels of nursing care without too much disruption.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by KlingKlang »

I don't think that the first thing I thought of has been mentioned yet, but if you don't have any dependents don't let an insurance salesman talk you into buying any life insurance product because "It's an investment".
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Watty
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by Watty »

austin757 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:17 pm I have a home in a nice location that has no mortgage that I could move into anytime.
......
I just wanted to get your take on any differences for us single people.
One difference is that there is less need for long term care(LTC) insurance to cover you in case you need to move into a nursing home when you are elderly.

This is for two reasons.

1) Part of the need for long term care insurance is so that if one spouse goes into a nursing home for a long time it does not bankrupt the other spouse who might live decades longer. Some people also want to make sure that LTC costs do not deplete an inheritance that they want to leave to their kids. Neither of these is risk for you if you stay single and don't have kids.

2) When a single person who has a paid off house has to move into LTC their house can be sold to help pay for LTC.
austin757 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:17 pm I often read threads on BH regarding financial planning for married couples with or without children, and not as many for single folks.
It may not seem like it but in the planning for a married couple they still need to make plans three ways, as a couple and as if either of them survives the other.

Not having kids will likely impact your plans a lot more compared to someone who has kids.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by tibbitts »

Watty wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 4:53 pm It may not seem like it but in the planning for a married couple they still need to make plans three ways, as a couple and as if either of them survives the other.
They can consider the possibilities, but it isn't possible make a plan that's optimal for both a single and married scenario, partly due to tax policy.
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austin757
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by austin757 »

celia wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:39 pm
alex_686 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:53 pm I have seen studies suggesting that having a spouse is worth millions over the lifetime of a marriage. You might laugh at the though of a spouse driving you out to some out-patient surgery, but the cost of replicating that privately is high. Hospitals won't let you take a Uber home after you take drugs.
Not only that, I’ve heard that living with another adult, married or not, helps keep you healthier. When you come down with something, the other person will encourage you to see a doctor, where you might have been reluctant to do that if you lived alone.

We were applying for medigap insurance a few years ago to supplement Medicare. Both plans consider each person a separate entity, with separate premiums (married or not), but our Medigap plan asked if we lived with another adult as that would make our premiums be less. At first, I thought that didn’t seem fair, but after thinking about it, it makes sense that they would pay less on our claims since we would seek medical care sooner rather than later (when the medical condition worsened).
austin757 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:56 am Right now, I am living at home with my parents...
This is a major problem unless your parents depend on you helping them. Going back to your old bedroom every night is keeping you from ‘growing’, meeting new people, and experiencing new activities. You are in a rut. Spending money to be indépendant is part of finding your way through life. Even talking to someone while waiting at the laundromat, or standing in line at the market can give you a lead to other contacts or activities. While talking, ask them for directions to the place they are discussing or how they cook or eat a particular food. Let the conversations go where they may. And if something sounds interesting, try it out.

At a minimum, you will gain a new experience that you’ll look back on in the future. And you will meet new people if you engage. Don’t look at it as they’ll never be your best friend, so why engage? Rather, look at others as interesting people who know different things than you do. Talking to them once is better than never having spoken to them at all.
I do get the feeling at times that I am in a rut. I have considered moving out, but I always talk myself out of it. Even though I love my parents, I get in a bad mood the moment I get home from work and they are around. I think my time at home has run its course, as I have been grouchy at home. I hope I would have a better outlook on life I was to move out.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by JoeRetire »

inverter wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:50 am
JoeRetire wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:39 am
austin757 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:17 pm I am a single guy (26) who will likely never marry or even engage in dating
When I was 26, I thought I knew all the details of my future.
I'm 66 now. I now know how wrong I was.

I advise all 26 year olds, single or not, to make decisions that keep as many future options open as possible. Work hard, save as much as you can, live beneath your means, enjoy every day.

It's not all that hard.
Thanks for this... always a good reminder to not pigeon hole yourself at this stage.
Don't pigeonhole yourself at any age.

I always advised my sons not to limit their future choices with today's decisions. I still advise them that way.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by fyre4ce »

austin757 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:04 pm
celia wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:39 pm
alex_686 wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:53 pm I have seen studies suggesting that having a spouse is worth millions over the lifetime of a marriage. You might laugh at the though of a spouse driving you out to some out-patient surgery, but the cost of replicating that privately is high. Hospitals won't let you take a Uber home after you take drugs.
Not only that, I’ve heard that living with another adult, married or not, helps keep you healthier. When you come down with something, the other person will encourage you to see a doctor, where you might have been reluctant to do that if you lived alone.

We were applying for medigap insurance a few years ago to supplement Medicare. Both plans consider each person a separate entity, with separate premiums (married or not), but our Medigap plan asked if we lived with another adult as that would make our premiums be less. At first, I thought that didn’t seem fair, but after thinking about it, it makes sense that they would pay less on our claims since we would seek medical care sooner rather than later (when the medical condition worsened).
austin757 wrote: Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:56 am Right now, I am living at home with my parents...
This is a major problem unless your parents depend on you helping them. Going back to your old bedroom every night is keeping you from ‘growing’, meeting new people, and experiencing new activities. You are in a rut. Spending money to be indépendant is part of finding your way through life. Even talking to someone while waiting at the laundromat, or standing in line at the market can give you a lead to other contacts or activities. While talking, ask them for directions to the place they are discussing or how they cook or eat a particular food. Let the conversations go where they may. And if something sounds interesting, try it out.

At a minimum, you will gain a new experience that you’ll look back on in the future. And you will meet new people if you engage. Don’t look at it as they’ll never be your best friend, so why engage? Rather, look at others as interesting people who know different things than you do. Talking to them once is better than never having spoken to them at all.
I do get the feeling at times that I am in a rut. I have considered moving out, but I always talk myself out of it. Even though I love my parents, I get in a bad mood the moment I get home from work and they are around. I think my time at home has run its course, as I have been grouchy at home. I hope I would have a better outlook on life I was to move out.
Celia's advice is excellent, and I second it. However, I do wonder how the pandemic is affecting the social lives of single people. Especially for someone who is already struggling to socialize and escape the nest, coming up with excuses to put off moving out could be harmful. Then again, the pandemic is a pretty compelling reason to avoid people, and (for instance) if OP lived in a VHCOL, the savings from living at home could be substantial, and possibly justify staying home a bit longer. This is a tough choice the OP will have to make for himself. If you feel like you're in a rut thought, the longer you stay in, the harder it will be to get out.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by tibbitts »

I don't see the point in moving out at this time. You are replacing coming home to people that annoy you sometimes to coming home to a place that's completely empty all the time, so make sure you are mentally prepared for that. The idea is to not bring anyone new into your "bubble", and even if you invited someone to your new place, how pleasant would that be to both be wearing a mask and worry about having to keep six feet apart. Even at some universities with on-campus housing, it's not the old model with roommates and socializing. Just going around to look at places would be stressful - I experienced that trying to shop for a car. Maybe this will resolve itself by next year at this time, maybe longer, nobody knows, but for now staying put seems like the best idea.
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by BestCoast123 »

If you are a high earner - with a high savings rate, you may want to make sure you diversify your retirement savings between traditional and roth. If you in the Single Tax Bracket - those eventual 401k/IRA RMD's could push you / keep you in a high tax bracket (and you have less room to do roth conversions prior to your full Social Security age).
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austin757
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Re: Investing and Saving Considerations for Single Guy

Post by austin757 »

tibbitts wrote: Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:31 am I don't see the point in moving out at this time. You are replacing coming home to people that annoy you sometimes to coming home to a place that's completely empty all the time, so make sure you are mentally prepared for that. The idea is to not bring anyone new into your "bubble", and even if you invited someone to your new place, how pleasant would that be to both be wearing a mask and worry about having to keep six feet apart. Even at some universities with on-campus housing, it's not the old model with roommates and socializing. Just going around to look at places would be stressful - I experienced that trying to shop for a car. Maybe this will resolve itself by next year at this time, maybe longer, nobody knows, but for now staying put seems like the best idea.
I agree. At this point, I think just staying home makes sense. As things start getting back to normal, I might start looking into where to move. I'm sure it will improve my outlook. Thank you.
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