As a single small business owner who lives alone, I have spent a lot of time thinking about – and planning for – a potentially solo future. Four Things That Worry Me About Growing Old Alone As a single woman, my two greatest fears in life are outliving my money or my ability to earn money to support myself, and losing my health or mobility and becoming dependent on other people or institutions for care. I also worry about whether I will die alone, without a supportive circle of friends and family. How many years of money will you need? A part-time job or income from starting a business can relieve financial pressure and help fund activities and travel. Start walking, join a fitness or nutrition program, exercise with friends. Staying healthy and active is the best way to remain independent as you get older. We all need people nearby to offer advice or support, provide social interaction, get us out of the house and push us to try new things. Face Your Fears and Embrace Life Living a full and happy life as we grow older is about planning and choices. In my book, Retiring Solo, I discuss strategies that can help you plan for an independent future that is happy, healthy, active and filled with a sense of community.
One of the unfortunate realities of aging is that many of us will find it difficult to manage our own affairs someday, often during the later years of retirement.
A study published online in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in April 2017 looked at how people’s functioning in two important areas changed over time: managing their medications and managing their finances.
The researchers started with a group of men and women who were 65 or older in 2002 and who didn’t, at that point, need any help with either their meds or money. It then checked on them at two-year intervals for the next decade, ending in 2012.
By age 69, about 10 percent of the sample reported having trouble with their medications and about 23 percent with their finances. After age 85, the numbers were more alarming: about 38 percent reported having difficulty with their medications and 69 percent with their finances. Women had a higher probability of developing difficulty managing medications and finances than men, the study found.
So what can you do to plan ahead, rather than just hoping it won’t happen…