As more households are headed by single people, financial well-being is suffering, MetLife Mature Market Institute found. A report released in September found single people are less likely to have taken steps to protect themselves financially, like working to lower their debt, meeting with a financial advisor and saving for retirement.
Their retirement security is at risk, too, the survey found. Forty-six percent of single people said running out of savings was a “major” or “significant” concern. Among couples, 35% of those with children and 36% of those without said the same.
The fact that singles, and to a lesser extent childless couples, are more likely to worry about depleting their savings may be a result of the belief that children will help care for their parents in their old age. Just under a quarter of respondents said children are expected to help their retired parents (although just 19% said they would ask for help). About 72% of all respondents had children, the survey found.
MetLife surveyed adults between the ages of 45 and 80 for the report. “Single” people include those who are divorced and widowed, as well as those who never married. Couples include people in their first or second marriage and those in unmarried domestic partnerships.
Over half of all respondents haven’t estimated how much monthly income they’ll need in retirement, but of those who have, single people with children estimated the lowest need at $2,536 per month. Couples with children made the highest estimate at $3,561.