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The single retiree

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While life insurance to provide for dependents isn't an issue for a single person without kids, disability insurance is more crucial for a single person than for someone who is part of a couple. And, as is the case with a home equity line of credit, getting that insurance while you are employed and healthy is vital, because if you wait until you need it, you probably won't be able to get it.

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"I've had people in my office applying for disability insurance that seem to be in great health, but they have a health issue that doesn't seem that big of a deal -- like vertigo, for example," says Larry Saffer of Guardian Life Insurance. "I have to tell them that our conversation is over because that kind of pre-existing condition disqualifies them for disability insurance."

Saffer recommends that single people consider buying a long-term disability policy where the payments remain level and coverage is guaranteed. A policy that will not only pay if you can't work in your current occupation, but that will also make retirement plan contributions for you, is essential as well. "A lot of times people just think about disability insurance paying their bills when they can't work," he says. "But if you can't work for a period of time, you also aren't making your retirement plan contributions and not having those can really affect you 20 or 30 years down the road, especially if you have a long-term disability."

Long-term disability policies kick in after 90 days of disability, which is why you need to have an emergency fund or home equity line of credit. Enright agrees that disability insurance is vital for single people during their working years and that a long-term care insurance policy is also a good idea to provide for a post-retirement health condition that requires third-party care, whether in your own home or in an assisted-living or nursing home facility.

When to retire
Every year you work in your 60s -- especially past age 65 -- is one more year that you are saving and deferring tapping into your retirement accounts. And if you defer taking your Social Security benefits until age 67 or 70, you'll get a bigger benefit than if you take them at age 62 or 65.

Next: Controlling expenses and debt in retirement is vital.
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Serial retirees
5 ways to make savings last
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IRA penalty has multiple exceptions
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Remarriage saps Social Security benefit

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