Some 124.6 million Americans were single in August, 50.2 percent of those who were 16 years or older, according to data used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its monthly job-market report. That percentage had been hovering just below 50 percent since about the beginning of 2013 before edging above it in July and August. In 1976, it was 37.4 percent and has been trending upward since. … The percentage of adult Americans who have never married has risen to 30.4 percent from 22.1 percent in 1976, while the proportion that are divorced, separated or widowed increased to 19.8 percent from 15.3 percent, according to the economist.
This is great! The more single people there are, the more normal being single is and the less I have to worry about accidentally offending my friends who are dating by seeming either too excited about their romantic prospects or not excited enough, or somehow both at the same time. (Though I mean well, I am constantly messing up. In this way, having single friends is kind of like life!)
But now that we’re an early-Bridget-Jones-type singleton as a nation, what does that mean for us financially? Unencumbered folks have fewer young children to oversee, take out fewer mortgages, and so on. Since basically the only real downside to remaining independent is the fear and expense of dying alone, Bloomberg suggests investing in long-term care insurance while you’re still young because “in most of the U.S., a private room in a nursing home can cost more than $100,000 per year” (!!!) and after you hit 40 or 50, insurers are likely to decline you because you’re already too close to the chasm. Be clear about your end-of-life plans and choices. And enjoy your awesome DINKy lives! Don’t forget to babysit.