Single women have unique considerations when retirement planning. TIAA-CREF provides advice as you prepare for this important time in your life.


Single at 45: Keeping the Focus on You. With a variety of priorities vying for your attention, it is easy to let retirement planning fall by the wayside.


  • If you haven't yet starting planning for retirement, there is no time like the present. Make sure you are contributing enough to get an employer match, if offered. Not doing so is essentially walking away from free money.
  • Create a monthly budget and stick to it. Be sure to include your savings account and retirement contributions and pay them like you pay your other bills.
  • Make saving for retirement a priority. Do not skimp on your savings to pay for a child's education—there are loans and grants available to help pay for college, but no such thing exists for retirement.
  • Finalize important paperwork, such as wills and healthcare directives that will ensure your wishes are upheld.
  • Open or convert to a Roth IRA. You will be able to make investments with after-tax income and your returns will grow tax-free.
  • Speak to a financial advisor about ways to diversity your portfolio to include both taxable and nontaxable investment vehicles, such as mutual funds, stocks, bonds or annuities.
  • Protect your assets and any dependents by making sure you have the proper type of life, property and disability insurance in place. It's smart to conduct an insurance "check-up" once a year to make sure you have the right amount of coverage.


Single at 65: Making Independent Plans for Retirement. When retirement is just around the corner, it's important to have a good sense of your goals so that you can develop the right plan.


  • Have a clear idea about what you want in the years to come. Think about when you might want to stop working, and what retirement means to you—will you move on to a new career, start a business, travel or volunteer? Write down your plan to set your goals in motion.
  • Inventory your assets and review your allocation. Know what you have and what it is worth. Determine if you should reallocate your assets based on your risk tolerance; the closer you are to retirement, the less risk you generally want to take.
  • Educate yourself about your investments and making them work for you. You need to feel comfortable about making these important decisions.
  • Consider options for lifetime income, such as annuities.
  • Create an income plan by determining how much money you'll need to cover your retirement expenses. Plan when you'll apply for Social Security benefits and how your benefits may be affected by different scenarios (such as working part-time or withdrawing early).
  • Get professional advice tailored to your situation.
  • Develop an estate plan. Make sure your will is not only complete, but also accurately reflects your wishes. Plan for the unexpected—in addition to developing a will, power of attorney, healthcare directive and various asset protection vehicles, it's also important to be prepared for short-term illnesses, disabilities and long-term care



Diversification is a technique to help reduce risk. There is no guarantee that diversification will protect against a loss of income.


TIAA-CREF products may be subject to market and other risk factors.  See the applicable product literature, or visit www.tiaa-cref.org for details.


Annuity account options are available through contracts issued by TIAA or CREF. These contracts are designed for retirement or other long-term goals, and offer a variety of income options, including lifetime income. Payments from the variable annuity accounts [and mutual funds] are not guaranteed and will rise or fall based on investment performance.


You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing.  Please call 877-518-9161 or log on to www.tiaa-cref.org for product and fund prospectuses that contain this and other information.  Please read the prospectuses carefully before investing.


TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., and Nuveen Securities, LLC, Members FINRA and SIPC, distribute securities products.


Annuity contracts and certificates are issued by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) and College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF), New York, NY.


Withdrawals of your earnings are income tax and penalty free, if you have had the Roth IRA for five years and you are one of the following:

  • 59 ½ or over
  • Using the funds for a qualified first-time home purchase
  • Become disabled or die