Aging: Without Kids
It’s a new world after 50, and not just because there are more NotGrandMoms than ever before. We’ll all get there – if we’re lucky – so smile, plan, save, and rock on!
• BUSTING ASSUMPTIONS: A team of USC researchers reviewed a national sample of adults age 75+ who had trouble walking or getting in and out of bed and wrote a 2010 study revealing that childless adults weren’t receiving less care than seniors who were parents. (Another assumption busted.) In addition, the adults with no kids scored no lower than parents on tests to measure psychological well-being.
According to one USC gerontologist: “The boomers will be so different in so many ways, it’s hard to project.” In part, that’s because no previous generation has had access to broad social networks (online and off), higher education, higher incomes and access to paid caregivers.
• ADVANCE DIRECTIVES: What would you want if you were in a persistent vegetative state where you didn’t know who you were, couldn’t communicate, couldn’t think, and were in limbo? Would you want to be kept alive at all costs? More
It’s time to have “the conversation” with your partner/friends/family. Talking about it and putting something in writing is the only way to do this. Download the free state approved legal documents. Each state has different laws, so make sure you are completing the ones for where you live.
Helen Mirren, then 66, was hotter than Jennifer Lopez, model Elle MacPherson and royal sister-in-law Pippa Middleton, owner of the most famous buttcheeks in the world. In 2013, Ms. Mirren, who has been married for 15 years, admitted that she always expected to be a mother. “It was not my destiny,” she said. “I kept thinking it would be, waiting for it to happen, but it never did, and I didn’t care what people thought. And whenever [men] went ‘What? No children? Well, you’d better get on with it, old girl,’ I’d say ‘No! F— off!”
• WHO’S GOT YOUR BACK?: Experts say successful emergency planning for NotMoms starts with selecting a Power of Attorney, an Executor and designated caregivers who are younger than you are. (Nothing worse than watching your entire support system fail physically, or die, before you do.) Friends your age can be a part of your A Team, but when it comes to legalities, younger associates are best.
Manhattan’s Ann Logan is a role model to remember. Profiled in the Times in 2011, Ms. Logan, 63, moved to New York City purely for its quality health care, accessible public transit and affordable entertainment. She’s named her P.O.A. and a separate health care proxy who can make medical decisions and see her medical records. She also bought long-term care insurance and arranged other Medicare supplements. Her will is written, and it includes provisions for her cat.