Preparing now for the future is a responsible decision that may safeguard your family and your wishes in the future. But what if an individual is single and does not have a spouse or any children? Who will safeguard that individual’s future?
According to a 2013 report from the American Association of Retired Persons, by 2030, 16 percent of women ages 80 to 84 will be childless. In 2010, 11.6 percent of women were found to be childless. The proportion of caregivers was more than seven caregivers for every person above 80 years old. By 2050, the number is expected to go down to three to one.
An expert explained that the data supports the fact that there will be less traditional caregivers for the elderly. These people will turn to extended family, like nieces and nephews or close friends to care for them. These single people also have to consider who will be responsible for their financial affairs and estate planning.
According to reports, some women are turning to friends who live in the same apartment buildings as they do. The friends will oversee their future and were given power of attorney and appointed as executors of their wills. Other people are searching out co-housing options. They want communal living with shared expenses or want to move in with a good friend.
Even people who have children are deciding to leave their care and financial responsibilities to others, according to reports. Experts reported that a 2012 study by Fidelity Investments found that only 3 percent of parents agreed that their children would care for them if they became sick. In the study, 975 parents and 152 adult children were surveyed.
No matter who a person appoints to care for them later in life, it should be someone who cares about them and knows exactly what their wishes are. All conversations about estate planning, financial affairs and elder care should be very meticulous and detailed.
Source: nytimes.com, “The Childless Plan for Their Fading Days” Abby Ellin, Feb. 14, 2014