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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


There is an art and science to aging gracefully, according to Jill O’Donnell and Jackie Porter, authors of “Single by Choice or Chance.” The book targets women over the age of 45 and is chock full of tips and ideas while delivered in an easy style.

They say it all begins by developing a "life plan." This includes setting a vision for the rest of your life, developing a strategic plan, and determining who you are: look into the future to assemble a picture of where you want to be.

The life plan is very personal, focusing on non-financial goals such as health, personal fulfillment and family involvement without losing sight of the need to save and invest for the future.

Women have made great strides financially and more than ever are choosing to remain single. Others have found themselves single due to widowhood and silver divorce, which is on the rise. To compound some of the challenges of already being on your own, you may also have aging parents to contend with. 

The book makes it very clear you don't need someone to "complete" you. It is all about setting your goals and living your dreams. 

Women have shown they are capable of juggling work and family life and many are well-positioned financially. But that isn't the case for everyone, so whether you’re single by choice or chance, it is up to you to decide how you want to live your life and what you want it to be like when you are no longer working.

The good news is we are living longer and healthier than ever before. The bad news is the longer we live, the greater risks for a decline in health and the need to ensure we don't outlive our money.

It is all about proper planning and that is within our control – single or otherwise.

Fun Facts: 

  • The average age of a widow in Canada is 56
  • Since 2015, there are more people over the age of 65 than under 15
  • The fastest growing segment of the population is the over-85 age group
  • Women outlive men by three years
  • ​People who remain socially active can live longer, healthier lives by increasing their level of physical activity, eating healthy food and taking steps to eliminate falls.

Source: Single by Choice or Chance/Statistics Canada