Solo Agers: Do You Have a Designated Senior Planner?

Senior woman with laptop

Baby boomers without children, or solo agers, have to consider different options for their later years than those with children.

If you are a baby boomer without children, the new term “solo ager” applies to you. This strong and self-reliant group faces some distinct concerns in aging, chiefly who to designate as guardian and decision-maker in the event that they become unable to do so themselves. Inside her book, Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers, author Sara Zeff Geber, Ph.D. defines several senior planner options to consider:

  1. Dig through your support system. Commonly, a solo ager’s spouse would be the natural choice for guardianship and to make important decisions linked to medical care, but it’s worthwhile to have a minimum of one and preferably two younger alternate options. Think about brother or sisters and their children, close friends, and neighbors, taking into consideration whether or not each candidate holds matching values and is somebody you are able to fully trust to make decisions in accordance with your wishes.
  2. Hire a qualified professional guardian. Professional guardians, also known as private guardians or professional fiduciaries, are getting to be popular for solo agers. If thinking about this option, it is necessary to interview several candidates to make certain they have the necessary knowledge and experience, and don’t hesitate to inquire about references. Consult your attorney for recommendations, or perhaps the National Guardianship Association or Professional Fiduciary Association in your state.
  3. Accept a court-appointed guardian. If a solo ager has not selected a guardian and is suddenly unable to make care-related and/or financial decisions, a probate court will designate a guardian to manage his or her affairs.

If you are choosing potential guardians, collect answers to questions such as:

  • How long have you been in practice?
  • Have you been certified by the National Guardian Association?
  • Have you been bonded and insured?
  • What will be the succession plan if you predecease me?
  • Are criminal record checks performed on all of your current employees?
  • What is your familiarity with the specific medical ailments I’m facing?
  • What are your fees, and how often am I going to be billed?

Once your guardian option has been determined, make sure that your attorney updates your existing (or creates a fresh) durable power of attorney or advance medical care directive, will, and durable power of attorney for finances.

If you require any more help in planning for long-term care needs, phone the elder care professionals at Midnight Sun Home Care, the personal care assistant Anchorage Alaska seniors trust. We are able to help serve as a senior planner to ensure needs are fully met now and can keep on being met effectively as needs change in the many years to come, always with respect to each individual’s wishes. Contact us online or call us at (907) 677-7890 for more information.

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