While a spike in inflation has put many American seniors on a back foot while they absorb higher costs of living, single, unmarried seniors are disrpoportionately affected due to factors like fewer social security benefits, lower-than-expected retirement savings and less successful retirement plans, according to a new survey released by leading reverse mortgage lender American Advisors Group (AAG).
In addition to these difficulties faced broadly by the senior cohort, women specifically answered in the affirmative about various retirement difficulties in higher percentages than senior men who took part in the survey.
“Single seniors face a lot of additional challenges, such as receiving only one social security income or lacking a second retirement savings, and that can make traditional retirement strategies less effective,” said Martin Lenoir, AAG’s chief marketing officer. “For many unmarried seniors, their home is their most valuable asset, which is why we often see them utilizing their home equity to help fund their retirement. Especially in times of inflation, it’s common for senior homeowners to take out a line of credit using a reverse mortgage to preserve their retirement portfolios.”
46% of seniors said they needed to increase their monthly cash flow in order to become comfortable with their current financial situations. 50% of surveyed senior women answered the question affirmatively, indicating more general discomfort with their finances than the broader average of all surveyed seniors.
The same pattern largely persists across other questions posed by the survey. 44% percent of single seniors said they have less money than they thought they would have as compared to just 32% of married couples, while 45% of senior women answered that they were affected by the same issue.
36% of single seniors said their retirement did not work out as planned, while only 23% of married couples answered the same. 41% of single senior women answered this way. Single and married seniors also have different sources of money they rely on for retirement funding, with unmarried seniors largely describing social security as their primary income source while married seniors indicate a preference for pension plans.
However, both married and unmarried seniors share concerns about inflation impacting the cost of living. Over 65% of both groups answered that they believe inflation will negatively impact their retirement plans.
These results were derived from AAG’s Modern Retirement Survey, which solicited input from approximately 1,500 seniors between the ages of 60 and 75.