Sunday, February 16, 2014

The CO in Housing

I am always reassured when I see another article about the Aging Class, or aka, the Boomers. As more and more are now entering the "I wish you would die already" stage that the Millennial hope for, there are positive reinforcements showing that many are stepping up to the plate to demonstrate why they remained childless! I kid. Or not.

I have my issues with the ME MINE MINE class who are either to the point of political correctness they are boring and unimaginative or so self involved that they seem to be the progeny of a gay marriage between the fictional characters of Horatio Alger and John Galt. The irony is any progeny of those would take the term "gay bash" to new heights.  The Silicon Valley set seem to personify that group better than any.

And so to read the story of two Golden Girls who realize that family is where you find and make it is reassuring.   Of course the title is utterly offensive and disturbing, so I am guessing that was written by whom - a millennial.  But what I found interesting is they seem to live in an apartment building that  is "aging" and in its own way also supports those who also are not getting any younger.  So in between fading and aging away it doesn't mean having to do that out of sight and mind at the  old folks home.  Isn't that what those are really for, to hide aging?

I don't have children. I have never believed in the biological clock or any other crap thrown at women to either manipulate, control and encourage conformity. It bit me on the ass two years ago as without an advocate I was fodder for the millennial morons to fully abuse and harm me so word of warning, if you have not clearly established "in case of emergency" contacts on your phone or on your person, and in turn ensured that all the documents are in place, do so.

I made the mistake of joking to my former dog walker that she was "in my will" and that I wanted to adopt her but that was frankly to ensure that she took extra care of my dog. When Emma passed I had no intention of doing so and had no real interest in further socializing with this young girl whom I had little in common.  The bite marks on this ass are still sensitive  today when I discuss when she took me without any legal authorization from Harborview Hospital and in turn abused and vandalized my home in the process of "helping me." Now true she was not given proper or accurate release information about the injuries I sustained and the care I needed, but I can ensure you that is not an excuse or reason for what this psychotic young woman did in my home. I have spent many many hours regretting that I ever let this woman touch my beloved dog.

So that I share that tale as it is also part of my medical malpractice lawsuit against the equally destructive and damaging lunatics at Harborview Hospital for a reason. Get your shit in order.

There is also a need to re-examine the concept of multi family co-housing to be truly multi generation un-family housing. Where people can live co-cooperatively in the sense of a co-op style building, akin to the idea of co-op grocery stores, etc, and establishing close connections and build a new commun-ty.

It is possible, it is being done and it needs to be further explored as we of the boomer age boom towards aging.  And no we are not fading away.

The Childless Plan for Their Fading Days

FEB. 14, 2014

HAVING children was never on Francine Tint’s to-do list. A painter of large abstract canvases, Ms. Tint never felt a biological imperative to reproduce or pass on her name to future generations.

“My paintings are my children,” said Ms. Tint, who is “over 65,” and whose work has been featured in galleries and museums across the country. But though she was always clear on her decision, in the back of her brain one thing slightly nagged at her: Without offspring, on whom could she rely in her old age?

“People don’t have children to take care of them later on in life,” said Ms. Tint, who is divorced and lives in Greenwich Village. “It’s not a reason to have children. They may come for a second on your deathbed, and that’s it. But of course, I worry.”

Ms. Tint’s situation is one that more and more elderly people will face over the next few decades as fewer women choose to have children. According to an August 2013 report from AARP, 11.6 percent of women ages 80 to 84 were childless in 2010. By 2030, the number will reach 16 percent. What’s more, in 2010, the caregiver support ratio was more than seven potential caregivers for every person over 80 years old. By 2030, that ratio is projected to decline to four to one. By 2050, it’s expected to fall to three to one.

Unlike China, whose Law of Protection of Rights and Interests of Elderly People requires children of parents older than 60 to visit their parents “often” and tend to their financial and spiritual needs, the United States has no such law.

The trend means that “there are going to be far fewer of the traditional caregivers,” said Donald Redfoot, a co-author of the study and a senior policy adviser with the AARP Public Policy Institute in Washington. “It raises the question: Then who?”

“Many people are extending the notion of family itself, to nieces and nephews, cousins and so on,” he continued. “But it’s also expanding to ‘pseudo kin’ of friends and neighbors. We see this in the L.G.B.T. community, many of whom have been alienated from their families.”

Not only does it raise questions of who will care for them, it also brings up issues of housing arrangements, estate planning and whom to put in charge of financial affairs.

This is something Batya Lewton, 82, a former teacher and librarian in New York who never married and has no children, has been contemplating. “You have to think in advance; you can’t assume that people are going to know what you want done for yourself, or how you want to be taken care of, whether you want to stay in your home or not,” she said. “It’s important that people who you care about and who care about you know exactly what you want.”

About eight years ago, Ms. Lewton appointed two friends who live in her building to oversee her future. Both have power of attorney and are executors of her will. She has filed important papers in clearly marked boxes, and also given explicit instructions on where she would like to be buried, what she wants engraved on her headstone and how the funeral should proceed. (She did not, however, prepay the event. “I’m superstitious,” she said.)

Both Ms. Lewton and Ms. Tint hope to stay in their apartments rather than move into a facility for the elderly. “I know a lot of people in my building,” said Ms. Tint. “It’s like an assisted living center or a dorm,” or, in modern parlance, a naturally occurring retirement community.

“My fear in life is being put in a nursing home,” said Nancy Squires, 58, who owns an I.T. consulting firm in the Washington area. Ms. Squires, who is divorced with no children, has been saving for retirement since the 1980s. “I come from a family that’s thrifty,” she said. “I reuse paper towels. My friends laugh at me; I wipe my hands and put it on the counter until I come back. But I was taught that retirement was very important. My parents were not wealthy. They earned a nickel and saved a dime.”

She and her friends have bandied about the idea of moving in together. “I love the idea of a communal living arrangement with separate spaces and shared expenses,” she said. “Not like in the ’60s with LSD. More of a 21st-century model, like a large farm where someone has horses, another raises/trains dogs for others, some of the people might coordinate an organic garden, some might cook gourmet dinners a few times a month. It’s all about really living to your fullest without eating dinners alone — unless you want to, of course.”

Bill Strubbe, 58, a travel writer and painter living in San Francisco’s East Bay, plans to leave the country. In the fall, Mr. Strubbe, who has no children and is single, is relocating to a kibbutz outside Haifa, Israel, that he has been visiting since he was 20.

“I’ll be living among a community of people I have known all my adult life and has systems in place for care of the elderly,” he said. “Unlike the U.S.A., Israel has excellent health care for all its citizens, and that will take a big load off of my mind, knowing that I won’t be left flapping in the breeze if something happens to me.”

According to Dave Littell, a retirement income program director at the American College of Financial Services, in Bryn Mawr, Pa., children usually provide about 70 percent of long-term care. But they’re not always the best people to make decisions about their parents. A 2012 study of 975 parents and 152 adult children conducted by Fidelity Investments found that only 3 percent of parents agreed that their children would take care of them if they became ill. The study also found that only 10 percent of children believed conversations about health and eldercare were very detailed.

“While it’s great to have kids who are available to help, there are a lot of complications with having kids around,” said Audrey K. Chun, a doctor who is also a medical director at the Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mount Sinai Hospital, in New York. “A lot of the dynamics, decisions that have to be made around the end of life, disagreements that arise between siblings, what mom or dad may have wanted, can be very emotional. Many of my patients without kids are interested in not wasting resources at the end of life — when it’s their time, they don’t want unnecessary suffering, or to be a burden on society. They want to die naturally. Because they don’t have children to advocate for them, they’re much more open and direct about that.”

Those without children also tend to have the resources to pay for professional assistance. As the Department of Agriculture reports, a middle-income family with a child born in 2012 can expect to spend about $241,080 ($301,970 adjusted for projected inflation) in expenses for that child over the next 17 years. If that money were saved for 35 years, it would amount to about $1.5 million, with compounding interest, Mr. Littell said.

“You save so much money not having a child, not to mention two or three,” said Joni Evans, the chief executive of WowOWow, a website for women, who is married but never wanted children. “And you’re saving millions of dollars when you span it over 20 years. For me, when the time comes I’ll hire someone, or I’ll have a really great friend move in with me. Whatever it takes, I feel like I have the money to take care of myself in my old age.

Of course, one issue facing the childless is what to do with their estates. Some establish foundations in their name or leave money to charity, said David W. Nethery, senior vice president for wealth management at Merrill Lynch in Dallas. Others bequeath money to siblings, nieces and nephews, or friends, as did Ms. Lewton.

In Mr. Strubbe’s ideal world, he won’t have any cash left. “Hopefully I will have used it all up,” he said. Should there be any, he said he would most likely leave it to “nieces and nephews and/or some of the children of close friends on the kibbutz.”

Among the stipulations, he said, he is ordering recipients not to use their inheritance “to pay bills, taxes, rent or other such mundane things, but to earmark it for taking a trip you could never afford, enrolling in an art class that was not in the budget, or do something meaningful, wild and fun.”

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