What Do I Need to Do for Estate Planning if I’m a “Solo Ager”?

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A 60-something single person is part of a group that is sometimes known as “Solo Agers.”

There’s more to estate planning for these people than they may realize.

According to the American Society on Aging, about 20% of Boomers fall into this category. From a retirement planning viewpoint, this means there are a few specific areas a solo ager should focus on to help make sure he’s set in retirement.

Cincinnati.com’s recent article, “Retirement planning must-dos for ‘solo agers,’” says first, solo agers should review their support system to make sure they have strong, healthy relationships outside of work. Although a solo ager may not have adult children who can provide care when the time comes, they should consider other family, such as younger siblings, nieces or nephews, and if not, perhaps a younger, trusted friend.

This support system coincides with a solo ager’s finances and estate planning needs. Every adult should have a power of attorney for both healthcare and finances. In these legal documents, you name a trusted person to make healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf, respectively, if you are no longer able to do so on your own. It doesn’t have to be the same person, but it can be. As a solo ager, it’s critical that you determine what your legal guardianship looks like in the future.

Solo agers also need to think about their home. While most people would prefer to age-in-place, think about whether this is going to be feasible, especially if you don’t have an adult child to provide care.

One option is to hire an in-home aide, if you can afford it. There are also several kinds of retirement communities from which to choose, such as assisted living and independent living. There are even now some communities that promote “co-housing,” just like the Golden Girls.

As you near retirement, it’s extremely important as a solo ager that you begin to consider who to trust with your personal directives and assets. Speak to an estate planning attorney to draft the proper legal documents.

Reference: Cincinnati.com (December 18, 2019) “Retirement planning must-dos for ‘solo agers’”