Dec 12 / Jay Zigmont, PhD, MBA, CFP®

Who will take care of me?

If you're Childfree, chances are good you've heard someone say, "But who will take care of you when you're old?" Leaving out the wrong assumption that anyone's children will either provide them with elder care or pay someone else to do it, it's valid to wonder about your golden years and how you'll handle them. Let's take a look at some options for Childfree and childless folks.

Having kids is no guarantee of elder care – or the money for it

I alluded to this above, but the data even shows that parents are no more likely to have someone in their family care for them in old age than Childfree people are. In 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau compiled information about childless adults age 55 and over, and found that in terms of financial support, just 2.5% of childless adults surveyed were receiving it from family and friends. But, only 1.5% of people with children received financial support from the same group. 

So don't think you're in any worse position than people with kids. In fact, you have the ability to save money and plan for your future, while people with kids might be more focused on giving their kids the financial support and runway to become successful adults. You have more options in this area.

Considerations for aging

You might consider creating your own intentional community, a la the classic 1980s-1990s TV show, The Golden Girls. This could look like going in on a big house with some friends, and all supporting each other as you age. You might also consider designating a sibling or perhaps a niece or nephew to make medical decisions for you if you become unable to. The important thing is to get everything in writing – your will, living will, power of attorney, and so on. 

Money is another huge factor in making a plan for your old age. Since you're not paying for college for your kids, you might be able to save for the future, and invest in long-term care insurance to help you defray the costs when the time comes. And long-term care insurance is extremely expensive – it might be cheaper to live on a cruise ship than in an assisted living or nursing care facility. 

You're not alone in worrying about care during your golden years. And your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ can help you address the financial side of these considerations.
Jay Zigmont, PhD, MBA, CFP® is the Founder of Childfree Wealth, a life and financial planning firm dedicated to helping Childfree and Permanently Childless people. Dr. Jay is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Childfree Wealth Specialist, and author of the book “Portraits of Childfree Wealth.” Dr. Jay is the co-host of Childfree Wealth Podcast. His Ph.D. is in Adult Learning from the University of Connecticut.
He has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, and many other publications.