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What do you think about my non-profit idea?
Old 06-07-2010, 11:33 PM   #1
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What do you think about my non-profit idea?

After reading this depressing article on the NYTimes blog (with which, coincidentally, I largely agree) Should This Be the Last Generation? - Opinionator Blog - NYTimes.com, I realized that my main reason for thinking I need to have children someday is the fear of not having anyone to turn to when I am too old/incapable of making sound financial and health care decisions.

It is not a desire, but a fear, and I resent the feeling that I am making such an important decision based on fear.

This made me think that there is a societal void for organizations that do just that--acting as trusted advisors for older people who need help. I think it is a problem now, but will only get worse as more people choose not to have kids. (At least it's my observation.)

Partly out of selfish reasons, I am thinking I should start such an organization. Since it will be largely trust-based, the staff would need to have very high integrity, and it's definitely going to be a non-profit, almost a church staff minus the religious component. (If it's a for-profit, it will be a slippery slope...just look at lending fraud problems we've had.)

This is not something I'm going to do right away. Probably when I semi-ER in 15-20 years. I won't be doing it for money. Do you think there is such a need? Or am I overlooking some obvious resource out there?
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:21 AM   #2
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We have here a forum on which almost everyone professes unending 24x7 ectasy, and we wonder if it worthwhile to bring a child into this joyfest?

And I can't see any reason than a desire to keep it all to ourselves- like those who early on moved to Brattleboro or similar and immediately set about creating bariers to entry by others.

My experience with parenting and with other parents is that it tends to be overwhelmingly positive for all concerned.

As far as raising a child to be your caretaker, don't know how well that would work. Better I think to be careful in choosing a husband, and replace him quickly if he should die.

Ha
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:40 AM   #3
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While I do see those who ER'd profess complete happiness, there is a large contigent of forum folks who are still w*rking, and are NOT in ecstasy. There are many threads to prove it. And remember that we are quite a minority of the general population. The average person probably spends 40-50 hours a week at a job they don't like, retiring at 65 or 70. Not passing judgment here, but for the majority of the people, the number of hours in happiness pales in comparison to hours spent w*rking.

But that's not even my point. I am not staying childless because I want to increase the barrier to entry. That would be ridiculous, given how many kids others are having. Instead, I worry that our world is running out of resources. I'm a pessimist, and I don't want to see my child having the potential of suffering because we didn't conserve enough today.

Your comment on my husband is insensitive at best. Wow. I didn't think I said anything that should deserve such a response.
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:58 AM   #4
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Also, I apologize if the view expressed by this NYTimes article is offensive to some. It is very extreme, and of course, will never be the case. It was written more to provoke debate than to convince.

It is not my point to debate the merits of having children. I am merely suggesting that I observed a social need for someone/some organization to take care of childless elders, and want to know if others also share the observation.
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:14 AM   #5
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I think that there is and will be a need for a service such as you propose. Establishing a convincing level of trustworthiness would be the biggest stumbling block in my opinion. Some older people who are wary of con artists have a hard time trusting anyone, even a church, as a trusted advisor. So they may insist on handling things on their own, and as they grow elderly this can result in problems.
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
While I do see those who ER'd profess complete happiness, there is a large contigent of forum folks who are still w*rking, and are NOT in ecstasy. There are many threads to prove it. And remember that we are quite a minority of the general population. The average person probably spends 40-50 hours a week at a job they don't like, retiring at 65 or 70. Not passing judgment here, but for the majority of the people, the number of hours in happiness pales in comparison to hours spent w*rking.

But that's not even my point. I am not staying childless because I want to increase the barrier to entry. That would be ridiculous, given how many kids others are having. Instead, I worry that our world is running out of resources. I'm a pessimist, and I don't want to see my child having the potential of suffering because we didn't conserve enough today.

Your comment on my husband is insensitive at best. Wow. I didn't think I said anything that should deserve such a response.
I am truly sorry, I didn't mean to be disrespectful. I didn't even know that you had a husband, though I did remember that you are a woman.

All I mean is that a spouse or long time lover is more likely to be a willing caretaker than a child, who may be living many miles away and be up to his/her ears in must do tasks in his/her own life. In any event male children at least are notoriusly bad caretakers in the context of North American or Northern European culture.

I also said replace him as quickly as you can if he should die because the biggest though not only flaw in the plan of a woman having her husband as her planned caretaker is that statistically he is not likely to be around when you may need him. Not because he is faithless, but because he is dead.

On your other point of all the unhappy people working, I don't buy it. People who post here are not typical. I think many and likely most people are happy enough in their jobs big or small.

ha
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:53 AM   #7
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Haha, don't worry about it! (Did you choose the handle for the pun?) I guess I don't talk about DH enough in my posts. I understand statistics are on my side when it comes to longevity, plus I am also a couple of years younger than him.

I am not thinking about long-term caregiving, which is something money can buy. I am more concerned about whether I am making the right financial decision when I turn 100, or if I'm too sick and needing a POA type of stuff. At that age, I would be too old to research what financial vehicles there are. Maybe that's why a lot of financially unsophisticated seniors stay with cash/bonds?

W2R, that's exactly right. It seems that we have many measures of a worker's efficiency and effectiveness, but few ways to measure integrity.
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:28 AM   #8
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WE also don't have children, however that was not by choice. When you don't have children people automatically assume you are too selfish/career minded etc. and we have had people ask us who is going to look after us when we are older.

I think anyone who brings a child into the world solely to cater to their needs in old age is selfish, that is not why one should have a child. Also having a child does not mean they are going to be there when you need them.

We figure by not having children we should have the financial means to buy the care we will need. WE hope that we will have a relative out there who will do the right thing and take an interest in what is going on with us, if not we will put systems in place way before it is too late.
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:48 PM   #9
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Are you thinking along the lines of a Geriatric Care Manager? National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
This made me think that there is a societal void for organizations that do just that--acting as trusted advisors for older people who need help. I think it is a problem now, but will only get worse as more people choose not to have kids. (At least it's my observation.)
Partly out of selfish reasons, I am thinking I should start such an organization. Since it will be largely trust-based, the staff would need to have very high integrity, and it's definitely going to be a non-profit, almost a church staff minus the religious component. (If it's a for-profit, it will be a slippery slope...just look at lending fraud problems we've had.)
This is not something I'm going to do right away. Probably when I semi-ER in 15-20 years. I won't be doing it for money. Do you think there is such a need? Or am I overlooking some obvious resource out there?
Let's turn this situation around and ask some questions from a different perspective:
- Why would elders assume that their children would take care of them? On a subset of that question, my father doesn't want his children taking care of him any more than we want to take care of him. The last thing I want in this world is to be a burden to my daughter, even if I raised her well enough to properly care for me. There are plenty of people with kids & other siblings/family who might want what you're selling.
- Why is non-profit better? I have no for-profit business experience and limited non-profit experience, but neither is a paragon of virtue. The non-profits make decisions for the same fiscal reasons that the for-profits do, just chasing after money from a different source.
- Why is integrity equated with a "church" staff? Does this situation get any better if you substitute the words "notary", "military", "former civil service", or "annuity salesmen"?
- Why arbitrarily restrict your customer pool by age? Why not offer the service to all ages of customers?

The service you're describing, whether for-profit or non-profit, is being offered daily by thousands of lawyers, doctors, nurses, groundskeepers, car mechanics, stockbrokers, financial advisers, govt employees, personal shoppers, dog walkers, and organizations like Meals on Wheels. I'm not pointing this out to discourage the attempt, only to highlight that you have to come up with a service which is currently unfilled or that would cause customers to leave their current providers.
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:16 PM   #11
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OP, what you need is a tontin of senility. Everyone agrees to mutually watch over the others with the torch being passed down as people go loopy or die. The last one leftwould be the only one needing a caretaker.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:52 AM   #12
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Do not worry about it.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:40 AM   #13
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OP, what you need is a tontin of senility. Everyone agrees to mutually watch over the others with the torch being passed down as people go loopy or die. The last one leftwould be the only one needing a caretaker.
brewer, what's a tontin?
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:56 AM   #14
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brewer, what's a tontin?
I don't want to speak for Brewer, but I looked it up on dictionary.com, and came up with:

"tontine: An investment plan in which participants buy shares in a common fund and receive an annuity that increases every time a participant dies, with the entire fund going to the final survivor or to those who survive after a specified time."

That makes sense, in the way that brewer defined it as a tontine of senility rather than one that is an investment. As he said, "Everyone agrees to mutually watch over the others with the torch being passed down as people go loopy or die. The last one left would be the only one needing a caretaker"
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