Aging Without Children

Nearly a quarter of the baby boomer generation is childless. As this large segment of the population continues to age, concern is rising over who will care for the boomers who never became parents. As an article in the New York Times explains, however, studies show that childless adults are not receiving any less care than their counterparts who did become parents.

With careful planning, childless individuals can ensure that they are cared for in life, and that their wishes are met in death. Below are several actions you should take if you are aging without children.

  1. Select Health Care Proxy and Power of Attorney: Your health care proxy and power of attorney are the people who will make medical and financial decisions for you should you become unable to make these decisions yourself. While normally these powers are given to a spouse or adult child, a close friend can also fit the bill.
  2. Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance or Engage in Elder Law Asset Protection Planning: Long-term care insurance is a great way to ensure that an individual can afford necessary services in-home, at a nursing home, or in an assisted living center. Many older adults won’t qualify for long-term care insurance, or wait too long to try and get it. In those cases, you would benefit from addressing the costs of long-term care with legal planning with an elder law attorney.
  3. Arrange to Pay Bills: Almost every bill a person receives can now be paid through an automatic withdrawal account. By utilizing an auto-pay option for important bills, a person can ensure that the electricity won’t be shut off if he or she experiences an unexpected stay in the hospital.
  4. Plan for Mobility Issues: Mobility issues also plague many aging Americans. To plan for the potential loss of mobility, consider learning how to purchase necessities, such as groceries, online.