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Old 06-05-2011, 04:09 PM   #41
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Childless and widowed, now age 53.
I've never felt incomplete without children. I was never strongly maternal. I know I have said "TG I didn't have kids" many times when I saw what my age peers with children were dealing with.

For myself, I have a Trust set up that will allow my affairs to be taken care of by a local bank that has a Trustee department set up for this very reason. I wrote in "not to exceed" clauses to keep the cost of trust management under control. My trust attorney (and Successor Trustee) is approx 10 years younger than I am. Either he (or a partner in his law firm) or the bank can be appointed as Successor Trustee if conditions warrant.
I felt better going with this route than entrusting my welfare to my siblings. The things I heard them say with my own ears and their behavior toward my Mom in her final days was more than enough to convince me I was better off without their interference. Not to say that they won't try anyway. My Trust specifically prohibits that from being allowed, i.e. my explicit wishes will override the usual "next of kin" laws.
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:38 AM   #42
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For myself, I have a Trust set up that will allow my affairs to be taken care of by a local bank that has a Trustee department set up for this very reason. I wrote in "not to exceed" clauses to keep the cost of trust management under control. My trust attorney (and Successor Trustee) is approx 10 years younger than I am. Either he (or a partner in his law firm) or the bank can be appointed as Successor Trustee if conditions warrant.
I felt better going with this route than entrusting my welfare to my siblings. The things I heard them say with my own ears and their behavior toward my Mom in her final days was more than enough to convince me I was better off without their interference. Not to say that they won't try anyway. My Trust specifically prohibits that from being allowed, i.e. my explicit wishes will override the usual "next of kin" laws.
Good point. Even amongst siblings or even with spouse, we can have different values or degrees of values. I have seen too many old folks put away in old folks homes when they rather stay in their own homes and have a part-time help. I discussed this topic with my friends recently on who would be their attorney and most picked spouse or failing whom, one of their siblings. A few chose their close friends above spouse and siblings. One asked "wouldn't your spouse feel betrayed if you do not appoint her/him as the attorney?"
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:19 PM   #43
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All that said, the best part now is grand children
Only if the kid, and grandkid don't live with you! I married my DH 20+ years ago. He had two girls, now 26 & 31. The 26 year old hooked up with a real winner, and has now been living with us for a year with the 16 month old grandkid. I'm still waiting for them to grow up… they can't take care of themselves, much less ever be able to take care of us in our old age. I never had the urge to have kids, and will be ecstatic to have my house back when they are gone.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:41 PM   #44
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The dilemma I see with older childless couples is that while wanting to live independently provision should be made for that phase of life when that won't work well. Many old friends have died and those that remain aren't able to travel.

If you wait to deal with infirmity until there is no choice you either move to a care facility or are cared for at home, basically isolated socially.

One of my mother's cousins was childless and very active in her community, in great shape physically (former professional dancer). Her deceased husband prepaid fees for her move to Twin Towers in Cincinnati but she didn't want to move from their home. When she couldn't drive or manage her home she finally relented. She moved to a lovely duplex there but couldn't find her way to the dining room. They needed to move her to one of their residential care units. If she had moved a couple years earlier she would have been able to adjust and avail herself of the fantastic activities at that facility. She missed so much.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:41 PM   #45
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No kids here; I am the oldest of 4 and DW is youngest of 10; we get our kid fixes as needed (not very often) and then go on our merry way. All of the families with kids are never going to retire, w*rk until dead, or laided off (forced to retire with little to nothing to show for it). I would not trust any of them to handle my affairs since they can not handle their own. I have issues being around kids they drive me nuts and they seem to be out of control (lived in a family where kids are seen, but not heard).

We are planning on retiring and living the good life and when it comes time to be taken care of, we will hopfully have a plan and I hope that time is a great deal down the road from today.
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:10 AM   #46
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People tell me there's a void without children and the void increases as you age. Personally, I don't feel the void - yet. Should I prepare for the void that is to come and what can I do now to help ourselves?
The "void" in the aforementioned adage, for me, has always referred more to spiritual "meaning of life" issues rather than the physical void of not having children - later adults - to spend time with as a person grows older. I think that most sensible people can appreciate and accept the fact that even the best and selfless parenting can result in children growing up to be adults that may not wish to spend much time with their parents - nor be adults that the parents themselves wish to be around as well. The "void" then refers to a loss of potential rather than something that is measurable in my opinion.

Having said that, it is then clear to me that the "void" is an amalgam and function of personal thoughts on what the meaning of life is, what the point of the universe is, personal legacy matters, etc. - pretty much all the stuff that we think about when we try to make sense of what Life is all about. The feeling of void would then be something that does not grow in size in itself as it is the result of a binary decision: The path not taken at the fork in the road, so to speak. Thus, the "void" increases with age only in a relative sense - people who have chosen not to have children both decrease the ability to reverse that decision and/or decrease the time available to spend with their children if they decide to change their mind as they grow older.

There is no right answer to any of this stuff, of course. Feelings of regret - and void - are a part and parcel to all big Life decisions. And, no decision is probably greater in life than the one regarding to have children or to not.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:13 PM   #47
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And as I'm sure all are aware, the decision is not always up to folks! Infertility is a big problem for many. Adoption is not always practical, either.

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TAnd, no decision is probably greater in life than the one regarding to have children or to not.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:19 PM   #48
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And as I'm sure all are aware, the decision is not always up to folks! Infertility is a big problem for many. Adoption is not always practical, either.

Amethyst
+1. Infertily, miscarraiges and sickness - many times even though we give nature a helping hand, still may not work. Adoption is not something every one - culturally or racially, can accept sometimes.
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:38 PM   #49
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Many countries prefer not to adopt out infants to couples where one or both parents is over 40. Common practice (last time I heard; things can change) was to add a year to the adoptable children's ages for every year a member of the couple is over age 40. So, by the time couples give up on fertility treatments, they often can't adopt a baby either, and adopting an older child can be more of a challenge than people are ready to accept.

I guess my point is that childlessness is not always a choice. It is a situation that many people have to face up to whether they like it or not. That is another reason why this thread is important.

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+1. Infertily, miscarraiges and sickness - many times even though we give nature a helping hand, still may not work. Adoption is not something every one - culturally or racially, can accept sometimes.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:29 PM   #50
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Sorry, I can't relate.

As I'm typing this, I'm watching my 18 month old daughter with a big smile on my face. She's at the age where she's completely enchanted with the world around her and discovering new and interesting things every day. Of course there are days where she's a handful but most of the time I just watch her and am amazed at this little person who came into our lives.

Now, ask me again when she's 18 years old, how I feel .
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