3 Steps for Childless Adults to Take to Ensure Your Future
In the 21st century, the definition of family is changing. Did you know a growing number of adults do not currently have children and never intend to? A 2021 survey by the Pew Research Center found 44 percent of non-parents ages 18 to 49 believed they were “not too likely” or “not at all likely” to have children. The reasons vary from medical to financial to environmental to simple personal choice.
According to the United States Census Bureau, roughly 1 in 10 adults over 75 have no children, and nearly 20 percent of those in the 55 to 64 range are not parents.
But being childless doesn’t mean there’s no one to care for you as you grow older. Three steps can secure a worry-free future:
- Assistance from extended family and friends
- Advance financial and medical planning
- Choosing a forward-thinking community
- Choose Your People
Have you considered who will make decisions about your health if you cannot? You might imagine your spouse would fulfill this role, but what if you outlive them? Or what if you have no spouse? You have the ability to make your own family outside the traditional definition.
It’s just as important to nurture your friendships. The benefits of social interaction among older adults have been well documented. Socializing boosts your immune system and improves your mental well-being. More sociable older adults are also likely to be more physically active.
Having a solid network and keeping friends in the loop about your future choices means you always have people looking out for you.
Beyond those benefits, identifying a trusted person now to manage your affairs when you cannot gives you peace of mind about your future. Your trusted person could be a niece, nephew, or perhaps a best friend. Alternatively, you could appoint a professional fiduciary. Take the time now to make your wishes clear to avoid future misunderstandings.
- Create Financial and Legal Plans
It’s easy to procrastinate over organizing your finances, but planning is essential. What do you need to think about if you’re a childless couple or single?
- Having a will. You need to decide who will inherit your assets.
- Assign power of attorney. Put in place official written authorization for your designated person to take charge of your financial and medical affairs.
- Get your financial house in order. Calculate the costs of long-term healthcare and housing. What can you afford? Sit down with a financial planner to review your options.
- Plan for funeral. Decide and plan for your end of life. Pre-planning and payment ensures your wishes are carried out and relieves the burden for your loved ones at an emotional time.
- Research Life Plan Communities
Moving to independent living in a Life Plan Community can be a fantastic choice for older adults without children to care for them. You will meet new friends and enjoy a terrific range of engaging activities, from book clubs and arts performances to fitness classes and sports.
A significant advantage of a Life Plan Community like The House of the Good Shepherd and Fellowship Village is the ability to age in place. You can receive additional assistance as you need it, without having to leave the friends and community you’ve grown to love.
If you’re looking for an independent living community in the Hackettstown, NJ area, contact the friendly team at The House of the Good Shepherd. If you prefer to be closer to bright city lights, Fellowship Village in Basking Ridge is waiting to welcome you home. Contact them today!