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For the small minority, no kids, no spouse, what's your plan?
Old 11-20-2015, 06:54 PM   #1
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For the small minority, no kids, no spouse, what's your plan?

Being in this category myself, I'm interested to hear what the few members who are not married or in a relationship and have no kids have in mind later when their health gets to the point that those hard decisions need to be made.

Do you plan to hire some type of advocate? Other options?
While I'm a safe distance from the decision time I do want to start generating some thoughts.


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Old 11-20-2015, 07:04 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by irishgal View Post
Being in this category myself, I'm interested to hear what the few members who are not married or in a relationship and have no kids have in mind later when their health gets to the point that those hard decisions need to be made.

Do you plan to hire some type of advocate? Other options?
While I'm a safe distance from the decision time I do want to start generating some thoughts.


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Hi irishgal. Actually, even those of us with spouses are pretty much in the same boat. Unless we both go at the same time (unusual), we all end up alone in the end. And it may even be more critical since age is advanced and we are NOT a safe distance from the decision - you're right in it.

Hence, me and DW are trying to think about this. But it isn't easy.

This subject has come up a few times, and I have never seen a good answer.

Here are a few:
- Nieces and Nephews: maybe. It may work in the right circumstances. But fear is they are bums or have ill intent.
- Friends: possible, but maybe they are too old too.
- Hired advocate: costly, and there are trust issues.

When we did our recent will planning at our relatively young age, our lawyer encouraged us to name a hired advocate as our financial executor, but insisted we name friends and family as our health care POAs. He didn't want us to go the hired route: actually, he said in our state that gets really complicated. It would only be an impediment at our age. Maybe later, but expect complications.

It got us thinking that this is going to be something we have to "manage" continuously as we get older.

Finally, the last time I saw this thread topic, one of the constant subjects that came up was to nurture your friendships and relationships while you still have it together. The hope being you'll have a pool of trustworthy people to tap into.
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:13 PM   #3
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Thanks JoeWras. I'm thinking too of maybe forming some type of co-op for people in the same situation.
I apologize for not really thinking of people with spouses being in the same situation, I guess I assumed it would be easier with someone to navigate the later years with but I'm wrong in that thinking.


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Old 11-20-2015, 08:57 PM   #4
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My DH is 8 years older than me, so I will likely face this alone as well.
We do have a teenage niece who may well be able to help oversee my decline, and I also have a younger cousin I imagine would be helpful if needed.

However, I think our friends and social connections would be far more valuable as we age, and hope that among them I can count on one or two to let me know when I get batty!

We update our wills and DHCPOA about every 10 years, making little changes here and there. Right now my sister's husband is executor for both of us (after each other--common disaster being the concern at our current ages), and he's a few years younger than me. Our alternate health care proxy is a nurse friend.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:16 PM   #5
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I do have one child and Frank. But, if I end up all alone, as can happen, I have a tentative plan.

I'll pay for entry into one of those continual care places where you pay a big lump sum up front and a smaller monthly fee. I'd make sure it was one that was financially stable, and that does not evict a resident if said resident runs out of money. And, I'd make sure it was one that had everything from independent living to assisted living, skilled nursing, and hopefully even an Alzheimers' unit (although I do not expect the latter, but you never know).

Then I'd put everything in a balanced fund with dividends pointed at my checking account. I'd set up any bills for automatic deductions from my checking account.

Once everything is set up, I would have an attorney oversee my finances. Even if he steals everything, which I doubt, I'd still have SS, a place to stay, and enough to eat, and Medicare.

So far that is all I have come up with! I have no idea who should be making medical decisions for me if I was left all alone like that.

I will be interested to read about others' ideas on this thread.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:20 PM   #6
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My DH is 8 years older than me, so I will likely face this alone as well.
It's not the years, it's the mileage. Of course, by that definition Don should be gone already.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:21 PM   #7
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I have named a trusted younger friend who is a lawyer as my attorney, health care representative and coexecutor. My financial institution is the backup.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:39 PM   #8
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When we did our recent will planning at our relatively young age, our lawyer encouraged us to name a hired advocate as our financial executor, but insisted we name friends and family as our health care POAs. He didn't want us to go the hired route: actually, he said in our state that gets really complicated. It would only be an impediment at our age. Maybe later, but expect complications..
My lawyer made the same recommendations.
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:54 PM   #9
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I do have one child and Frank. But, if I end up all alone, as can happen, I have a tentative plan.

I'll pay for entry into one of those continual care places where you pay a big lump sum up front and a smaller monthly fee. I'd make sure it was one that was financially stable, and that does not evict a resident if said resident runs out of money. And, I'd make sure it was one that had everything from independent living to assisted living, skilled nursing, and hopefully even an Alzheimers' unit (although I do not expect the latter, but you never know).

Then I'd put everything in a balanced fund with dividends pointed at my checking account. I'd set up any bills for automatic deductions from my checking account.

Once everything is set up, I would have an attorney oversee my finances. Even if he steals everything, which I doubt, I'd still have SS, a place to stay, and enough to eat, and Medicare.

So far that is all I have come up with! I have no idea who should be making medical decisions for me if I was left all alone like that.

I will be interested to read about others' ideas on this thread.

I am in same boat as you W2R. A SO and a daughter but no assurances of not being alone and I have no intention of being any burden on my daughter at all. This sounds flippant, but I am being honest. I am stubborn and independent. I expect no one to take care of me and will fake independence until the end, by either doing without, or paying people to do things I need done.
I know that is no plan, but that is me, and I will do it all until the end, or way past the time I should have. And if I ever wind up in a "home" it will be with the added comment from someone "that he should have been in a home 5 years ago".


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Old 11-20-2015, 10:13 PM   #10
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I am in same boat as you W2R. A SO and a daughter but no assurances of not being alone and I have no intention of being any burden on my daughter at all. This sounds flippant, but I am being honest. I am stubborn and independent. I expect no one to take care of me and will fake independence until the end, by either doing without, or paying people to do things I need done.
I know that is no plan, but that is me, and I will do it all until the end, or way past the time I should have. And if I ever wind up in a "home" it will be with the added comment from someone "that he should have been in a home 5 years ago".


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I understand this. I would rather go wander off into the woods and let the crows pick my eyes out than be a burden on anyone.


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Old 11-20-2015, 10:17 PM   #11
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I have no close relatives either . A DGF that is 12 years younger, who may be around at that time, assuming longevity tables mean anything.

Even if you had kids, there is no guarantee they will be around either. They may want to 'pull the plug' faster in case you are burning through the dough too fast in your helpless state.

By the time I get to that age, I will likely hire a caretaker. Or a Anna Nicole Smith wannabe.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:22 PM   #12
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Comparable situation here: Same age as my DW but her family is generally significantly shorter lived than mine, so the assumption is that I'll end up being her caregiver. I'm also significantly younger than any close relatives, so you can see where this is likely heading 30-40 years hence.

I don't have a good answer yet.
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:26 PM   #13
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Some great suggestions and thoughts here, thanks to everyone who took the time to comment (and not calling me an old maid hahahahaha).

I think trying to rally other people who are in our same situation is a good idea, on my women's ice hockey team there are a few who are divorced with no kids so we will all be in the same boat.


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Old 11-20-2015, 10:37 PM   #14
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:49 PM   #15
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I am in same boat as you W2R. A SO and a daughter but no assurances of not being alone and I have no intention of being any burden on my daughter at all. This sounds flippant, but I am being honest. I am stubborn and independent. I expect no one to take care of me and will fake independence until the end, by either doing without, or paying people to do things I need done.
I know that is no plan, but that is me, and I will do it all until the end, or way past the time I should have. And if I ever wind up in a "home" it will be with the added comment from someone "that he should have been in a home 5 years ago".
I'm seriously considering this too, mainly because the idea of living in a continual care place is pretty repulsive to some INTJs like me. I could hire someone to come in and care for me once I can't care for myself, and then I wouldn't have to be in a community setting like that. But, the caretaker could rob me blind, too. (sigh)

Like you, I simply refuse to be a burden on my daughter at all. It's just not something I would consider. My very few relatives and F are not young.
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Old 11-21-2015, 12:58 AM   #16
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I'll pay for entry into one of those continual care places where you pay a big lump sum up front and a smaller monthly fee. I'd make sure it was one that was financially stable, and that does not evict a resident if said resident runs out of money. And, I'd make sure it was one that had everything from independent living to assisted living, skilled nursing, and hopefully even an Alzheimers' unit (although I do not expect the latter, but you never know).

Then I'd put everything in a balanced fund with dividends pointed at my checking account. I'd set up any bills for automatic deductions from my checking account.

Once everything is set up, I would have an attorney oversee my finances. Even if he steals everything, which I doubt, I'd still have SS, a place to stay, and enough to eat, and Medicare.
Great thread!

This sounds like as good of a plan as I've heard. We're young enough that this shouldn't be an issue for decades, but it's still worthwhile to think over.

In addition to the above, we'd have a much younger friend with final say over our healthcare and finances, but we don't want to burden him with the day-to-day issues. We don't have kids, but I agree that we wouldn't want to burden them either. I carried such a burden for years, so I know it's important to make it as easy as possible for kids/relatives/friends. Still, I'd like a relative or close personal friend, not a stranger, making the big decisions, although not burdened with the day-to-day responsibilities.

As for continual care, I like W2R's idea proposed above. Although I consider myself an introvert, frankly I don't want to die alone. Not sure if I'll have enough $$ left to pick something decent though.

A good friend of ours is well into the 80's, although generally healthy. His goal is to stay "independent" as long as possible, maybe beyond... He even dislikes the 55+ communities in FL because "they are full of old people"...
Who knows, maybe we'll come around to his point of view.

Frankly, from what we've seen first hand in several cases, denial framed as "independence" is the most common approach. This is especially the case with those without $$$. Very sobering...

Thanks everyone for their thoughts on such a heavy topic.

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Old 11-21-2015, 06:39 AM   #17
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We're not really such a small minority.

My plan is the same as W2R's, but I am also lucky enough to have a much younger friend whom I would trust with my life. So Meadbh's plan is also in play. Although not a lawyer, he will be my executor and healthcare POA.
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Old 11-21-2015, 07:33 AM   #18
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Thanks JoeWras. I'm thinking too of maybe forming some type of co-op for people in the same situation.
I apologize for not really thinking of people with spouses being in the same situation, I guess I assumed it would be easier with someone to navigate the later years with but I'm wrong in that thinking.


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I have to commend you for looking at this now as many married people put it off. I like to look at the co-op of people as friends. I'm not sure how uninterested bystanders would look out for my interest. But I would want to make sure those I entrust to making the decisions what my wants are. I would not want them to guess at what I would want... I would not want a decision they had to make haunt them... thinking they did something wrong.
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Old 11-21-2015, 09:17 AM   #19
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There is one person that I trust to make these types of decisions for me. She is a few years older than me so I anticipate having no one but myself as an advocate.

My plan to pay for nursing care etc. is social security, medicare, and placing all my money into vanguard managed payout. Payouts will be monthly and automatic. That's all I got so far.
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Old 11-21-2015, 09:37 AM   #20
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I've been attending a series of seminars at the UC San Diego Retirement Association and they have been inviting in different professionals for talks on a variety of retirement topics.


One was for Fiduciary services - and not just for financial advisor roles. A professional fiduciary can act like a 'general contractor' in construction, coordinating and in charge of ALL aspects relating to an individual in retirement who has set up a Trust and the 'trigger' has been pulled on POA due to the conditions set out in the Trust. These roles can cover Advanced Health Care Directives, financial management but also day to day decisions for quality of life.


The Fiduciary can work with LTCI providers if needed as well, if a policy is in force, and also a Geriatric Care Manager for daily activities.

There could be instances where family may not be local, or may not want to act in the role of decision maker.


It's an option to consider - esp for someone in a position like the OP mentioned where there is no family or children.
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