E172 Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers with Sara Geber (Part 1)
Talking “Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers” with Sara Zeff Geber. In part 1, we cover:
- Who are Solo Agers? and
- Aging in Place: Where do Solo Agers live?
Who are Solo Agers?
Sara was the first person to coin the term “Solo Ager.” She also considered, “senior orphans” and “elder orphans.” But I agree, Solo Ager has a nice ring to it.
Sara originally defined Solo Agers as “any older person who didn’t have children.”
It all began as Sara kept seeing her friends’ adult kids spending tremendous time caring for them. Leading Sara and her husband to wonder: “who will do that for us?” Crickets!
And she also realized it’s not just a concern for folks without kids. Maybe the adult kids live 9,000 miles away!
So Sara expanded here definition to include anyone without kids around, who is aging alone. Such as folks with kids who live afar, or who are estranged.
Sara notes that Solo Agers are mostly women. Statistically, women tend to live alone later in life.
I’ve observed that my Solo Ager clients have big personalities, and tend be rather charismatic.
Aging in Place: Where do Solo Agers live?
Did you know 82% of folks over 60 years old anticipate aging in place? Why? The most common reason is because of cost (or at least perception of costs).
And if you ask any assisted living administrator, they can tell you why. It’s usually the adult child who researches and nudges mom and dad out of the big suburban home. Solo Agers don’t have that nudge, so you’ll find very few of them in assisted living.
But Sara cautions that aging in place in a large home is a very bad idea for 2 big reasons:
First, the typical large suburban home is too isolating. Solo Agers need a lifestyle and living arrangement that encourages meeting with others on a regular basis.
And second, large suburban homes require too much maintenance and upkeep.
Beside aging in place, some common living arrangements are:
Condos, co-ops, or homeowners associations, but with an emphasis on amenities suited to senior lifestyles.
Roommates with similar aged friends. Thinks Golden Girls!
Boarding care homes
Small, privately-run assisted living. Sort of Bed and Breakfast vs. Hotel chain.
Larger, more institutional, and with most robust facilities.
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