No Kids to Rely On? Seven Things Solo Agers Must Do Now

If you don’t have children or a support system of close friends nearby, you face some special challenges. For peace of mind, answer these seven questions.

An older woman sits outside on a mat doing yoga.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Contrary to popular belief, effective planning for solo aging extends far beyond legal paperwork and financial power of attorney arrangements. A solo ager is an older adult without the support of adult children or close family members, either by choice or circumstance, as defined by Ailene Gerhardt, a solo aging educator and founder of NavigatingSolo.com. Of course, solo agers need to consider how to structure a financial power of attorney (POA) with their financial adviser or elder law attorney. But that’s far from their only concern.

To empower my clients who are aging solo, I pose critical questions to kick-start their planning process. It’s about ensuring a sense of security and peace of mind. Below are the seven questions I ask, accompanied by the proactive approach I recommend for my clients.

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Thomas C. West, CLU®, ChFC®, AIF®
Senior Partner, Signature Estate & Investment Advisors

Financial adviser Tom West, CLU®, ChFC®, AIF®, founded Lifecare Affordability Plan (LCAP) to address a critical need for actionable planning that integrates finances, healthcare and senior housing. Tom has nearly 30 years of experience guiding families through financial and healthcare decisions. By bridging the gap between finance and healthcare, LCAP’s experienced team works with individuals and financial advisers to provide families with a financial strategy that meets changing healthcare needs while preserving the caregiver’s quality of life.