Growing old without kids or younger caring relatives

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
User avatar
auntie
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:49 pm

Growing old without kids or younger caring relatives

Post by auntie » Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:47 pm

The older I get the more I worry.

My parents are in their 90s and still in good health but I see the time coming soon when my brother and I will have to spend a lot of effort caring for them. Not financially, but looking out for their interests when they can't. We don't want them abused or taken advantage of.

So in 20 or 30 years I'll be old and in need of someone who really cares about me to look after my interests. My brother is older than I am, and probably won't be available for me. I don't have any cousins that are younger and care about me.

You can't hire someone to care about you.

Anybody have a solution?

tim1999
Posts: 3328
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Post by tim1999 » Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:57 pm

I can see myself being in the same situation down the road. Only child, not interested in having children or getting married, most relatives are my parents' age or older. I don't know what the solution is. I have said to myself that when I get to the point that I can no longer be active and enjoy life I'd consider an "life exit plan" instead of rotting in a nursing/assisted living home. Sitting around doing nothing is not living in my mind.

I also agree that you can't hire someone to take care of you. My grandfather tried this, because we were all on the other side of the country from him. Fortunately he still had enough wits to quickly realize he was being taken advantage of. He decided on his own that he wanted to move to an assisted living facility on our coast not far from the rest of his family.

MWCA
Posts: 2819
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 4:21 pm
Location: A wonderful place

Post by MWCA » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:11 pm

Same situation. Then again I know people with children who have no relationship with them either. No plan myself. Good thread.

retcaveman
Posts: 911
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:12 pm

Post by retcaveman » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:44 pm

Good Post. Retired, married, no kids (by choice). I find myself thinking (but not yet worrying) about this more and more. Agree with MWCA that having kids is no guarantee. We have LTC Ins and appropriate legal documents, but no family caregivers beyond each other. While time will tell, I am at peace with our decision and accept what will be. No magic answer.

A growing issue for a lot of people who are single and/or childless.

EyeDee
Posts: 1229
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:15 am

Someone to Care

Post by EyeDee » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:53 pm

.
We do not have any children and are not close to any of our nieces or nephews. Numerous of our friends are in similar situations. I am hoping there will be enough of us in the near future that a “Bogle” type business person will start a service that can be trusted to look out for ones interests. I am not too optimistic, but I do not know what other choice we will have.
Randy

thedude
Posts: 422
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:44 pm

Post by thedude » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:54 pm

Trusted friends? Maybe with the help of a good lawyer???

User avatar
Opponent Process
Posts: 5157
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:19 pm

Post by Opponent Process » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:02 am

if I were truly to a point that I couldn't take care of myself, and I couldn't afford quality care, I'd just go with suicide, assisted or otherwise. I don't see the point in squeezing out another dreadful year or two burdening our already overextended health care system or stealing from the quality of life of relatives. much better things for people to spend their time and money on than changing my diapers.
30/30/20/20 | US/International/Bonds/TIPS | Average Age=37

User avatar
theac
Posts: 288
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:00 am

Post by theac » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:32 am

I've heard that the Eskimos used to just wander out into the snow when they got too old, and be polar bear food when they crossed paths with one. I guess the reasoning was, "I've been eating bear all my life, and now it's time to give back."

Not sure if that's true, but sounds fair to me. Saves a lot of people a lot of trouble too. :)

thedude
Posts: 422
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:44 pm

Post by thedude » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:34 am

Wow, this has become rather macabre.

User avatar
mephistophles
Posts: 3110
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:34 am

Re: Growing old without kids or younger caring relatives

Post by mephistophles » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:38 am

auntie wrote:The older I get the more I worry.

My parents are in their 90s and still in good health but I see the time coming soon when my brother and I will have to spend a lot of effort caring for them. Not financially, but looking out for their interests when they can't. We don't want them abused or taken advantage of.

So in 20 or 30 years I'll be old and in need of someone who really cares about me to look after my interests. My brother is older than I am, and probably won't be available for me. I don't have any cousins that are younger and care about me.

You can't hire someone to care about you.

Anybody have a solution?


I am sorry, but I see no good solution to this problem. My brother and I cared for our aging parents for eight years. It was a lot of sacrifice but we loved them and did what was necessary. We also oversaw full time inhome care for them. Without my brother and I and their money they would have been out of luck.

If you do not have others to care for you then you might consider looking at moving into a continuing care community at some point in the future.

Specialized
Posts: 429
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:40 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Post by Specialized » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:44 am

Opponent Process wrote:if I were truly to a point that I couldn't take care of myself, and I couldn't afford quality care, I'd just go with suicide, assisted or otherwise. I don't see the point in squeezing out another dreadful year or two burdening our already overextended health care system or stealing from the quality of life of relatives. much better things for people to spend their time and money on than changing my diapers.


I find this view interesting in light of my father's medical situation. He has advanced congestive heart failure and was recently put on the heart transplant list at a major Los Angeles hospital. He is 67, and while his heart is failing, he has no other serious medical issues. The doctors are very optimistic that a transplant would be successful and give him 10+ years of high quality life. To keep him alive until a new heart becomes available, two ventricle assist devices (VAD's) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ventricular_assist_device) were sugerically attached to his heart. So basically he is attached to an external machine keeping him alive.

No patient will be given a VAD unless he or she has a full-time caregiver to monitor the machine, charge and change batteries, change the dressing, etc. My mom had to sign a document promising that she would allow herself to be trained appropriately and then take care of my father as long as he is on the VAD's.

If you have enough money or maybe really good LTC insurance I'm sure you could hire an appropriate caregiver. But there's more to it than that. While my father can probably look forward to many years of quality life, it's a real tought battle to be attached to a machine for what may well be many months. Recovering from a heart transplant is also a tough few months. Luckily, my father not only has a dedicated wife but also five children to both take care of him physically and remind him of why it's worth going through a lot of agony to get the additional years.

Apparently some people disagree, but I don't think any amount of money can substitute for going through life without family.

retcaveman
Posts: 911
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:12 pm

Post by retcaveman » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:49 am

For those who may be interested, here is an interesting answer to the Eskimo question.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/rea ... oes-to-die
"The wants of mortals are containers that can never be filled." (Socrates)

flowerbuyer
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:32 pm
Location: Western Washington (state)

Post by flowerbuyer » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:58 am

Getting older and losing one's abilities, either physical and/or mental is something most of us will face. The best we can do is make a plan for our financial health and well-being, as well as for our physical health and well-being. When there are children or close relatives who can help, choose the one you trust the most to take care of your needs when the time comes. It's important to educate them regarding your wishes for care, and how you want your financial assets managed. Set up the proper legal documents: a will and living trust, durable power of attorney for financial and durable power of attorney for health care (either immediate or springing depending upon the situation), and a health care directive. Be sure you have alternates named for all of these should something happen to the primary. Maintain a current list of all your fianancial investments, bank accounts, bills, etc.
For those who have no children or close younger relatives, you might wish to inquire about a professional guardian if that ever becomes necessary.

I am the "child" in the family who was suddenly thrust into taking responsibility for my mother's health care , personal care and extensive financial investments when she was no longer able to take care of herself due to Alzheimer's. I am fortunate because my mom was very frugal and invested everything she could, so she has the necessary assets to pay for the best care possible. However, the responsibilty for managing her care and finances can be overwhelming at times, to say nothing of dealing with the emotional devastation caused by the Alzheimer's.

My adult daughters are both single, and childless. The oldest one worries about not having anyone to help her if she becomes incapacitated when she is older. So even though it's a difficult subject to discuss, it's something we need to address in case they don't get married and have children.
Last edited by flowerbuyer on Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
theac
Posts: 288
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:00 am

Post by theac » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:03 am

thanks for that info caveman. I did a search too and didn't come up with much.

But I didn't mean that the Eskimos killed their elderly. I meant that old people voluntarily wandered off so as to not be a burden once they decided they had lived long enough and no longer served a purpose (in their cultural viewpoint anyway).

retcaveman
Posts: 911
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:12 pm

Post by retcaveman » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:34 am

That was my understanding also. Here's another interesting piece I found:

Suicide, murder, and death
"A pervasive European myth about Inuit is that they killed elderly and unproductive people.",[46] but this is not generally true.[47][48][49] There are cultural taboos against sacrificing elders because they are of extreme value as the repository of knowledge.[51][52]

In Antoon A. Leenaars book Suicide in Canada he states that "Rasmussen found that the death of elders by suicide was a commonplace among the Iglulik Inuit."[53] He heard of many old men and women who had hanged themselves.[53]

According to Franz Boas, suicide was "...not of rare occurrence..." and was generally accomplished through hanging.[54] Writing of the Labrador Inuit, Hawkes (1916) was considerably more explicit on the subject of suicide and the burden of the elderly:

"Aged people who have outlived their usefulness and whose life is a burden both to themselves and their relatives are put to death by stabbing or strangulation. This is customarily done at the request of the individual concerned, but not always so. Aged people who are a hindrance on the trail are abandoned."[55]
People seeking assistance in their suicide made three consecutive requests to relatives for help.[56] Family members would attempt to dissuade the individual at each suggestion, but with the third request by a person, assistance became obligatory.[56] In some cases, a suicide was a publicly acknowledged and attended event.[56] Once the suicide had been agreed to, the victim would dress him or herself as the dead are clothed, with clothing turned inside out.[56] The death occurred at a specific place, where the material possessions of deceased people were brought to be destroyed.[56]

When food is not sufficient, the elderly are the least likely to survive. In the extreme case of famine, the Inuit fully understood that, if there was to be any hope of obtaining more food, a hunter was necessarily the one to feed on whatever food was left . However, a common response to desperate conditions and the threat of starvation was infanticide.[57][58] A mother abandoned an infant in hopes that someone less desperate might find and adopt the child before the cold or animals killed it."
"The wants of mortals are containers that can never be filled." (Socrates)

Patchy Groundfog
Posts: 276
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:53 pm

Post by Patchy Groundfog » Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:34 am

Several people I know who are 10-15 years older than me have moved into a continuing care community in our city. This is a very well-run place owned by a major denomination, in a beautiful setting near downtown. All of these people were healthy and active when they bought their cottages or apartments, and most had children living nearby. They just wanted to choose their final home, as it were, and avoid as much as possible the "what to do about mom" dilemma for their children. Because so many friends have moved into the same place, their social life has stayed pretty much intact.

I have no doubt at all that my children will step in and take care of me as it becomes necessary; I just don't want them to. I hope I'll have enough marbles (and money) to solve the "mom" problem before it's a problem.
The best things in life aren't things.

JDCPAEsq
Posts: 1835
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Southwest Florida

Post by JDCPAEsq » Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:45 am

Many times in my career in bank and trust company trust administration I saw us, as trustee, step into this role. We had many clients with living trusts and little or no friends and family. We were in close contact with our clients, and were usually the first to see the need for additional care which we stepped in and arranged.

For those of you who question the value of a bank trustee and a revocable living trust, consider this vital role that is often played by a corporate trustee.

John

gd
Posts: 1230
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:35 am
Location: MA, USA

Post by gd » Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:48 am

Hello, I'm coming out of very occasional lurking because of this post. I'm married, no children by choice, siblings with children who are all nice enough, but... busy with themselves.

We don't go looking for it, but my wife and I have known several people who have simply had life and age overtake them, in both the USA and europe. It is a common event. Sometimes with not-so-caring relatives nearby, sometimes nothing, sometimes with well-intentioned children who simply are not capable of the demands on them.

To the post: Like investing, be wary of putting all your eggs in one basket. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Not having the children basket, I've compensated by making sure I've got financial security, even to the point of abandoning a high-risk hobby job for fear of liability. Pull-the-plug health care proxy, of course, and if I have the advance warning, something like this: (google compassionandchoices) vs. decaying in a nursing home (my wife now works in one, and we know that route).

I'm somewhat familiar with some cultures in europe, and among developed nations the USA seems particularly spotty on elder care, leaving it up to local communities to watch out for people (aside from that outbreak of rabid nation-wrecking socialism in the 1960s that gave us Medicare).

A question following up on posts above, which have touched on this-- I'd like to get some ideas for *specific* resources or ways to locate financially and ethically trustworthy for-fee guardians in advance-- lifestyle as well as financial. For example, if I ended up in a bad nursing home, a service that would seek out a more appropriate one at my request. That would go beyond a financial-guardian role, I think. With assets and no children, I'm toying with the idea of an explicit agreement with nieces/nephews in return for explicit inheritances they probably would not receive otherwise, but it's an uncomfortable path.

tim1999
Posts: 3328
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Post by tim1999 » Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:59 am

Opponent Process wrote:if I were truly to a point that I couldn't take care of myself, and I couldn't afford quality care, I'd just go with suicide, assisted or otherwise. I don't see the point in squeezing out another dreadful year or two burdening our already overextended health care system or stealing from the quality of life of relatives. much better things for people to spend their time and money on than changing my diapers.


That's pretty much my final plan, when I can't take care of myself or have any kind of meaningful daily life. I didn't want to flat out say it because some people get very edgy at the mention of the "s" word. I won't have any relatives around at that point to miss me. No siblings, etc. and all aunts/uncles are well past child-bearing age right now with no children.

User avatar
tetractys
Posts: 4587
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:30 pm
Location: Along the Salish Sea

Post by tetractys » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:16 am

There are widespread community based alternatives where everyone takes care of everyone else to the best of their ability. Get involved with one or more of those groups and see what it's about. That's answer as far as I know, give and receive. The more folks you rub noses with smiling, the more folks you'll have looking after you when you need it. I've given a share of myself to a more than a few friends when they passed away; but it could never have happened if they hadn't come along looking for friendship in the first place.

Best regards, Tet
Last edited by tetractys on Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
RESISTANCE IS FRUITFUL

User avatar
auntie
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:49 pm

Post by auntie » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:21 am

I was hoping someone would have already set up something like what I've been thinking about so I wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel, but no one has mentioned it yet, so it probably hasn't happened.

I'm thinking about starting a group of local people in similar situations, having it primarily a social group but with the understanding that we are to act as family when one of us needs help.

I don't know how hard it would be to set up. It would have to be a small enough group that everyone would know everyone else, yet large enough that there would be enough people with the correct time and talents.

I'm not thinking about long-term care, just watching over the people hired to do the jobs needed, and someone to deal with the sudden emergencies that may come up.

I'll probably be moving to a senior community in the next 5-10 years and there should be enough prospects there. If anyone had already done something like that I'd sure like to hear about it and learn from their experiences.

*edit*
While I was typing tetractys mentioned what I was thinking about. Any idea how to find out about such a thing?

jegallup
Posts: 671
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:34 pm
Location: San Diego

Post by jegallup » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:54 am

I worry about this too, and also wonder why those of us with no children feel it necessary to stipulate that it is "by choice." Are people who don't have children because of some medical condition or other deficient or inferior?

User avatar
Christine_NM
Posts: 2575
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:13 am
Location: New Mexico

Post by Christine_NM » Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:18 am

auntie -

Same situation. I "hired" a social worker who runs an eldercare management firm to be my healthcare power of attorney a few years ago. The firm is named in my will. Also, if I'm not dead but just somewhat incapacitated hopefully I will be able to gasp out the firm's name or show their business card or have it where EMT's will find it before I lapse into unconsciousness. They take over according to directives I've previously written.

You can't buy caring, but you can buy professionalism, which in some situations may be preferable. I used to work in ICU units, and families make terrible spur-of-the-moment end-of-life decisions about prolonging care, not that there is much to decide by that time. Nature takes its course.

When I made this arrangement the social worker said she had had only one previous client make the same deal. Now there must be more, because instead of insisting on contacting me every six months to find out if I'm still doing OK, this is an optional service for Healthcare Power of Attorney clients.

In 15-20 years I might ready for a senior apartment, like you. Right now I enjoy a small, newish, easy to maintain house across the street from Trader Joe's and Bed Bath and Beyond and other neat stores. There's a new senior rental apartment complex a couple of blocks away. Options for senior living will wax and wane according to Medicare policies. So we all will have to see what's available when we're ready.
10% cash 45% stock 45% bond. Retired, w/d rate 1.5%

jana
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:27 pm

Post by jana » Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:52 am

An August 13, 2007 NY Times article discusses "aging in place" communities. There are some useful links.

User avatar
soaring
Posts: 1440
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 9:09 am
Location: North Central Florida

Post by soaring » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:08 pm

Opponent Process wrote:if I were truly to a point that I couldn't take care of myself, and I couldn't afford quality care, I'd just go with suicide, assisted or otherwise. I don't see the point in squeezing out another dreadful year or two burdening our already overextended health care system or stealing from the quality of life of relatives. much better things for people to spend their time and money on than changing my diapers.


I agree and although I haven't read it yet (no need thankfully) in 1991 I purchased, the then new book, Final Exit by Derek Humphry regarding the how to. Also contact the Hemlock Society for help. You could prepare to move to a State allowing Assisted Suicide some years ahead of time. I'm sure more States will allow this as time moves forward.

My worst fear is a totally debilitating stroke when the brain works but the rest of you can't finish the deed. Hope I am healthy for many decades more but when the time comes I'm emotionally prepared.
Desiderata

Rick_29T9W
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:15 am

Post by Rick_29T9W » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:39 pm

I would most likely not have anyone to help with my financial decisions, if I were to become confused, when I get older. I had never been married, because I never met the right person. Because of that, I have never had any children. Now that I am in my mid-50s, I am not sure that I really want to get married.

My biggest concern, is the possibility of becoming mentally incompetent having my retirement savings stolen from me. I know of at least one slightly confused elderly neighbor, who has repeatedly had problems with the telephone sales people who target elderly people. She has lost about $50,000 that way.

Both of my parents are in their mid-to-late 80s and are still thinking clearly, still able to drive, and also able to walk reasonably well. If I take after them, perhaps the odds are in my favor of making it through life, still being capable of making my own financial decisions.

I could also try to take care of my mind by exercising my brain somewhat and keeping it active. Perhaps getting exercise and eating healthy food might also help somewhat.

If ever start becoming mentally incompetent, with no one else to turn to for help, I might find suicide to be my best option at that point. However, I would make sure that someone would know to look for my body, before it created a smelly mess. I would also make sure that the cause of death was totally clear, to avoid any unnecessary investigation expenses, by the police (if I am still able to think of such details at that point).

The comments by JDCPSEsq about a trustee stepping in to help might be another alternative. Christine_NM also mentioned something similar. I personally know of one instance, where an elderly neighbor has stepped in to help an elderly man, during his final months. He did not have any available relatives, so he gave her power of attorney.

User avatar
Opponent Process
Posts: 5157
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:19 pm

Post by Opponent Process » Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:07 pm

jegallup wrote:I worry about this too, and also wonder why those of us with no children feel it necessary to stipulate that it is "by choice." Are people who don't have children because of some medical condition or other deficient or inferior?


one is childfree and one is childless. implies your orientation towards the subject, and how other folks should acknowledge it. each group has their own terminology and etiquette. something that might offend one would not offend the other, etc...the childless deserve the most sympathy as that is the only group out of the three (included childed) that cannot exercise their free will on this particular subject.

one example is when a childed couple might playfully complain about their little tyke keeping them up at night, etc. and they can comfortably laugh about this with their childfree friends (who can tease back). you wouldn't want to do this around a childless couple, so it can be important to know the difference.
30/30/20/20 | US/International/Bonds/TIPS | Average Age=37

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 17578
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:05 pm

Opponent Process wrote:
jegallup wrote:I worry about this too, and also wonder why those of us with no children feel it necessary to stipulate that it is "by choice." Are people who don't have children because of some medical condition or other deficient or inferior?


one is childfree and one is childless. implies your orientation towards the subject, and how other folks should acknowledge it. each group has their own terminology and etiquette. something that might offend one would not offend the other, etc...the childless deserve the most sympathy as that is the only group out of the three (included childed) that cannot exercise their free will on this particular subject.

one example is when a childed couple might playfully complain about their little tyke keeping them up at night, etc. and they can comfortably laugh about this with their childfree friends (who can tease back). you wouldn't want to do this around a childless couple, so it can be important to know the difference.

Interesting terminology: childed, childfree and childless. I suppose all of the above could also be childish ;)

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

btenny
Posts: 4184
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Post by btenny » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:23 pm

One of the key benefits of Sun Cities in Arizona is all kinds of old people with the same issues discussed above. Everyone is over 55 and many are way over 80. I think the average age is something like 77. These people take care of each other. The town motto is The City of Volunteers.

Everyone has some talent and they contribute it to help each other. So if you are friendly and get to know people you will have lots of friends to shop with and do things with who are old too. And I say it again, these people take care of each other. They have call networks to check up on the infirm. They like their neighbors. They have "clubs" to encourage people to get out of the house. They have duffer golf courses that suit ageing abilities. They have tennis courts and shuffleboard courts. They have several large swimming pools and recreation centers. They have several lakes and parks for walking and strolling. They have weekly old time entertainment that is free or very low cost suited to the residents. They have vacant house checks to make sure your home is OK while you are gone. They have several low cost cafeteria restraurants that cater to the elderly. They have many in town nursing homes and 2 hospitals plus all the associated health care services and doctors. They visit each other when someone is sick or in a home. Single older people find new loves and get married or move in together. Others find travel companions.

The town is next door to Phoenix and the big city stuff with all the associated restraurants and big league ball clubs and shopping. The weather is hot in the summer but great 7-8 months a year. Housing costs are very low and taxes are very low.

So maybe some of you without kids should investigate Sun City. I think you will find it very fun and supportive of elders with no kids.

Bill

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 17578
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:23 pm

One of the ways to prepare oneself to a likely mental decline is to shift assets from investments towards annuities. Assets could be lost to a scam, and elderly people are primary targets of scams. One may be sharp today but fall for clever plots during the most vulnerable years. With an annuity, unscrupulous heirs have a greater vested interest in keeping one alive.

To protect one from being kept alive against one's wishes there are numerous documents mentioned earlier (medical proxy, etc.).

The main problem with a suicide is to find the right moment to activate it. If you are capable to perform it, you can also continue living. At the point when you cannot continue living, you also cannot trigger the exit.

I think a critical point comes when both of one's parents die. One moves to the front of the line and becomes more cognizant of one's own mortality. I am -- thankfully -- not there yet, and I hope that by the time I get serious about it some suitable options will exist, such as those mentioned by Christine, Tet and Bill.

Victoria

pr
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:31 am

Post by pr » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:51 pm

Join your local church and become a very active member. Would also move into a 55+ community.

Faith20879
Posts: 503
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:16 am

Post by Faith20879 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:40 am

auntie, thanks for starting the discussion. Hubby and I also fit the profile and have been wondering too.

I particularly appreciate JDCPAEsq, Christine_NM, and VictoriaF's suggestions.

Christine_NM said:
I "hired" a social worker who runs an eldercare management firm to be my healthcare power of attorney a few years ago. The firm is named in my will. Also, if I'm not dead but just somewhat incapacitated hopefully I will be able to gasp out the firm's name or show their business card or have it where EMT's will find it before I lapse into unconsciousness. They take over according to directives I've previously written.


That is so real. If you don't mind, I have a couple of questions:
1. Do you leave the will with an attorney or with the eldercare firm?
2. Will the SW initiate the claim if you have LTCI? I assume she is in contact with your doctor since some policies requires your doctor's signature.
3. Who holds the eldercare firm accountable?

The reason I am asking is that we are considering buying LTCI. It is not clear to me that if my mind is gone, who is there to initiate the case (or file the claim) with the insurance company?

Thanks,
Faith

Independent
Posts: 548
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:09 pm

Post by Independent » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:13 am

Excellent ideas above.

Sun City sounds great if I am physically ready to move 1,000 miles.

More likely, I wouldn't be in this postition until I'm older, then I'd look for a local "elder community". My Mom lived in one that had "independent living", "assisted living", and "skilled nursing" in three connected buildings. She moved into the independent living section, got to know everyone in her building (they had one nice meal per day together), and kept in touch as they moved to the other units. I was close enough to help her, but I could see myself moving there even if I had no close relatives. (They are currently addding detached duplexes to attract even younger people.)

I expect the director would have some contacts for people who could act as "health care advocate".

I also like the idea of an annuity if you really don't have anyone to inherit the money.

User avatar
Opponent Process
Posts: 5157
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:19 pm

Re: Growing old without kids or younger caring relatives

Post by Opponent Process » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:20 am

auntie wrote:You can't hire someone to care about you.


I guess you can.
30/30/20/20 | US/International/Bonds/TIPS | Average Age=37

Horatio
Posts: 161
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:33 pm

Post by Horatio » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:47 am

I find it interesting that none of you has mentioned non-relative friends who can help you.

I have a dear friend, a single man who does not intend to ever marry or have children. He is very healthy and we are only in our 40's. He has a brother but no one else in his family whom he trusts if something were to happen to his brother. He has asked me if I would supervise his care if he were to require that. I would of course do that with 100% commitment. I know exactly what his wishes are.

Sometimes your friends can love you more than your family, or in place of your family if you have none.

User avatar
Bounca
Posts: 895
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:48 am

Post by Bounca » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:49 am

pr wrote:Join your local church and become a very active member. Would also move into a 55+ community.


I'm in my 30s and can't relate, but I would second this idea. Socially joining and networking yourself (make some friends :wink: ) is the only thing I can suggest. Hebrews 10:25

User avatar
norookie
Posts: 3016
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:55 pm

Re: Growing old without kids or younger caring relatives

Post by norookie » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:08 pm

:D
Last edited by norookie on Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
" Wealth usually leads to excess " Cicero 55 b.c

btenny
Posts: 4184
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Post by btenny » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:09 pm

Having good friends is the best when you get sick. Maybe better than relatives.

One of my friends passed away last month. He was 69 this spring when he got pancreatic cancer very bad. He had never married and had no kids. Just a brother and sister on the east coast. We are out west. His prognosis was bad. Maybe six months to a year. My friends and I were his snow skiing and boating and party buddies over the last few years. We had skied together lots of times. We set up a great big 70th birthday party for him that all his old work buddies came to along with many friends and relatives. It was great and he loved it. We set up a halfway schedule to go over and take lunch or dinner so he would eat something. Food tastes bad when you are this sick. So eating with friends helps. Kind of like holding hands when you are hurting. One of our rich friends acted as his agent to get his medical care and other money things done. I think it was a good last few months because he had friends. So love your neighbors and friends.

I hope when my time comes I am this lucky.

Bill

User avatar
BigFoot48
Posts: 2502
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:47 am
Location: Arizona

Post by BigFoot48 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:59 pm

We are in the same child-free boat as others. After my wife's parents pass we will have no living relatives except distance cousins. (They live in Sun City West outside Phoenix, and I agree with the above comments on the value of those types of senior communities).

We also have lived in many different cities over would working lives, as a result of transfers and company changes. While we made friends in each location, we've ended up in Tucson where we have no real friends, just neighbors we are on good terms with.

So the plan is to move to either Sun City after seeing after the parents, or back to Tulsa where we came from and still have life-long friends. Unfortunately, they're the same age as we are so support is not guaranteed.

I've been thinking for many years that there's a tremendous opportunity for a company to offer a full-service pseudo "children/relative/friend" service to the coming baby boomer explosion. Bonded, insured, audited and highly managed, and offering management of financial and medical needs when the client is no longer able to fend for themselves would be a terrific business plan, I think.
Retired | Two-time in top-10 in Bogleheads S&P500 contest; 12-time loser

User avatar
Christine_NM
Posts: 2575
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:13 am
Location: New Mexico

Post by Christine_NM » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:10 pm

Faith20879 wrote:auntie, thanks for starting the discussion. Hubby and I also fit the profile and have been wondering too.

I particularly appreciate JDCPAEsq, Christine_NM, and VictoriaF's suggestions.

Christine_NM said:
I "hired" a social worker who runs an eldercare management firm to be my healthcare power of attorney a few years ago. The firm is named in my will. Also, if I'm not dead but just somewhat incapacitated hopefully I will be able to gasp out the firm's name or show their business card or have it where EMT's will find it before I lapse into unconsciousness. They take over according to directives I've previously written.


That is so real. If you don't mind, I have a couple of questions:
1. Do you leave the will with an attorney or with the eldercare firm?
2. Will the SW initiate the claim if you have LTCI? I assume she is in contact with your doctor since some policies requires your doctor's signature.
3. Who holds the eldercare firm accountable?

The reason I am asking is that we are considering buying LTCI. It is not clear to me that if my mind is gone, who is there to initiate the case (or file the claim) with the insurance company?

Thanks,
Faith


Faith -

Sorry, didn't see this post before now.

1. The eldercare firm has a copy of the will. I have the original and some copies. The accountant who has financial POA and my estate-planning lawyer have copies too.

2. The firm has a record of my LTC insurance policy -- that's part of the paper trail. The SW was a touch disapproving that the insurance was not an amount that would cover the entire cost of LTC. On the bright side, the insurance does not end after five or ten years -- it is for a lifetime benefit pays as long as I am alive and need it. All it will do is give a boost to my pension, SS, and other income so that all three will cover care. I bought LTC insurance to protect the money that I want to go to charity, and just to do what I could not to end up on Medicaid. As for my doctor, the SW knows who she is but has had no need to contact her. In my experience general practitioners and internists who act as such are left behind when a serious illness occurs.

3. I suppose that the paper trail of the firm's interview with me, and my rather simple directives, will stand for what my wishes were. Technically there is no oversight, by definition I have no relatives likely to care, and friends come and go. Who knows who one's friends will be at the end of life. It's important to select someone whose living depends on their ability to take care of people who need it. I was impressed by the social worker and she came highly recommended.


Hope this helps.
10% cash 45% stock 45% bond. Retired, w/d rate 1.5%

User avatar
Sunflower
Posts: 395
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:23 am
Location: Ess Eff, CA

Post by Sunflower » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:45 pm

Horatio wrote:I find it interesting that none of you has mentioned non-relative friends who can help you.

I have a dear friend, a single man who does not intend to ever marry or have children. He is very healthy and we are only in our 40's. He has a brother but no one else in his family whom he trusts if something were to happen to his brother. He has asked me if I would supervise his care if he were to require that. I would of course do that with 100% commitment. I know exactly what his wishes are.

Sometimes your friends can love you more than your family, or in place of your family if you have none.


Count me in as one of these no-children, distant-relatives people.

I also have a friend in the same boat and we are covering for each other -- however, we are the same age and the time may come when it will be two elderly people who won't be able to deal/help with particular issues. So the idea of "have a friend help" doesn't necessarily make sense unless your friend is 20 or 30 years younger.

We joke about having to live together in old age -- but killing each other because of that fact too. But we also enjoy the thought of one day sitting on our rockers on the porch yelling at kids to stay off our lawn. :lol:

grok87
Posts: 7594
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:00 pm

Post by grok87 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:23 pm

jana wrote:An August 13, 2007 NY Times article discusses "aging in place" communities. There are some useful links.

Thanks jana and welcome to the Bogleheads. Here's the link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/14/health/14aging.html

NY Times wrote:
So the Allens have banded together with their neighbors, who are equally determined to avoid being forced from their homes by dependence. Along with more than 100 communities nationwide — a dozen of them planned here in Washington and its suburbs — their group is part of a movement to make neighborhoods comfortable places to grow old, both for elderly men and women in need of help and for baby boomers anticipating the future.

“We are totally dependent on ourselves,” Mr. Allen said. “But I want to live in a mixed community, not just with the elderly. And as long as we can do it here, that’s what we want.”

Their group has registered as a nonprofit corporation, is setting membership dues, and is lining up providers of transportation, home repair, companionship, security and other services to meet their needs at home for as long as possible.

Urban planners and senior housing experts say this movement, organized by residents rather than government agencies or social service providers, could make “aging in place” safe and affordable for a majority of elderly people. Almost 9 in 10 Americans over the age of 60, according to AARP polls, share the Allens’ wish to live out their lives in familiar surroundings.


cheers,
"...people always live for ever when there is any annuity to be paid them"- Jane Austen

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 17578
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:49 pm

grok87 wrote:
jana wrote:An August 13, 2007 NY Times article discusses "aging in place" communities. There are some useful links.

Thanks jana and welcome to the Bogleheads. Here's the link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/14/health/14aging.html

cheers,

jana and grok,

Thank you very much! By following your link I learned that there is a community on the Capitol Hill called Capitol Hill Village.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

jasonp99
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:58 pm
Location: TX

Post by jasonp99 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:42 pm

fyi, there is also a Sun City in Georgetown, TX. Not as hot as Phoenix, but more humid (I live in Austin, about an hour south of Georgetown).

User avatar
celia
Posts: 7166
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Post by celia » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:40 am

I'm somewhat surprised by the relatively clearheaded thinkers who are posting here and "don't know what to do". What do you want to happen for your circumstances? What are the steps to make it happen?

You don't have to just sit there and worry about it. Go out and talk to elderly people and agencies and retirement homes in your area or wherever you'd like to live. Find out what options there are. What have others already done? Do they like it? What would they change?

You are fortunate that you can probably come up with a plan and make it happen, now, while you're still able to decide.

User avatar
Hexdump
Posts: 1610
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:28 am
Location: Houston, Texas

I heard an ad on the radio earlier this week

Post by Hexdump » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:35 am

for an outfit called "Visiting Angels".

I am just beginning this research in conjunction or instead of LTC so I don't know much about them.

I would appreciate all comments from those who have any experience with them.

Sorry if this seems like a thread hi-jack, but it seems appropriate here.

hex

User avatar
giacolet
Posts: 815
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:41 am
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida

Post by giacolet » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:08 pm

A couple of generations ago there were fraternal organizations like the Moose, Elks, and Masons. Eastern Star and Rebeccas for women.

Today in St. Petersburg there are many facilities, like Luthern Towers and Presbyterian Manor.

You've had a lifetime to make a choice.
May your heart always be joyful. | May your song always be sung. | May you stay forever young. | ----Bob Dylan

epilnk
Posts: 2603
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:05 pm

Post by epilnk » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:09 pm

Opponent Process wrote:
jegallup wrote:I worry about this too, and also wonder why those of us with no children feel it necessary to stipulate that it is "by choice." Are people who don't have children because of some medical condition or other deficient or inferior?


one is childfree and one is childless. implies your orientation towards the subject, and how other folks should acknowledge it. each group has their own terminology and etiquette. something that might offend one would not offend the other, etc...the childless deserve the most sympathy as that is the only group out of the three (included childed) that cannot exercise their free will on this particular subject.

one example is when a childed couple might playfully complain about their little tyke keeping them up at night, etc. and they can comfortably laugh about this with their childfree friends (who can tease back). you wouldn't want to do this around a childless couple, so it can be important to know the difference.

We just had a discussion of these words on a parenting board that includes members who are hopeful but childless, infertile, adoptive parents, not quite ready couples, step parents, and (oddly for a parenting board) a few who are childless by choice. Childfree was considered to be a loaded term that suggested an agenda of some sort and was universally disliked - it's kind of like calling parents "breeders". Childless was also not much liked but considered to be more neutral. I don't think anyone there would agree that childless people automatically want or need sympathy - most of us have a choice. (I don't have biologic children but I chose not to be childless or childfree.)

"People without children" is always safe. If you're worried about offending, work around it.

Linda

User avatar
patriciamgr2
Posts: 774
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:06 pm

AARP article on Caremanager.Org

Post by patriciamgr2 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:53 pm

AARP published an article about geriatric care managers who coordinate many of the medical, insurance, LTC issues as well as provide referrals to other professionals like elder care attorneys and financial planners. See URL above.

I have started, and when I get older will do a more detailed, updated version of, a "checks and balance" system (1) which has scheduled-in-advance status appointments with a fee-only financial planner which accepts the Boglehead philosophy; an elder-care attorney; and a geriatric case manager to do a home visit; & (2) some formalized way for that info to be transmitted to my family. Also, if you can find a trusted friend, consider giving them a "please be nosy" letter in which they acknowlege that they are not to receive any financial or other benefit from you, but that you have requested that they periodically check in with your "checks & balances" team to make sure everything is going well. No legal status for your friend, but that's helpful especially to make sure home workers are doing a good job--if something there concerns your friend, the letter helps them raise the issue with e.g. your lawyer.

The more organized you are, and the more you have simplified your financial planning, the easier it is to put things on auto pilot if you become incapacitated. If you set up a plan in advance, the hard part is keeping it updated. I have a copy of my (early-stage) planning attached to my health-care power of attorney.

This advice isn't just for those who are alone--if your family lives in a different part of the country, it's really a blessing for them if you have indicated some resources. Also, I still encounter older women who have never been filled in on their (now deceased) husband's financial plans.

Finally, when an older, widowed neighbor needed home health care, I suggested that her grandson set up a family-only website where her kids & grandkids can check in to coordinate schedules to come help her; read reports from her home helper; locate phone numbers for neighbors & our local senior center & meals on wheels,etc. Transparency is helpful.

good luck.

pastafarian
Posts: 386
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:55 am

Post by pastafarian » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:32 pm

pr wrote:Join your local church and become a very active member.

I'm sure your heart is in the right place, but that is not a logical option for a large number of us. 8)

Post Reply