Solitary Aging

Adapted from Advisor Perspectives

I am an advisor of quite a few long-time clients who are approaching their twilight years.  Positioning them for this next stage of life is a major concern of mine, especially the ones living alone.  Elders living alone can face a risk of higher health issues and/or depression. 

One particular client who is single, never married or had children, confided to me some of her concerns.  Her family members, while they do contact her on occasion, do not live within a driving distance.  She is very independent but does have a few prolonged health issues.  She is considering moving from her current home to a property where all her living space would be on one floor.  For purposes of this story, I’ll call her Anne.

Shortly after my visit, Anne had a fall.  She did manage to call for help and was taken to the nearby hospital by ambulance.  From the hospital, Anne was transferred to a rehab facility.  Everyone involved in her recovery expressed to her the need to live on a single floor.  Anne really didn’t know where to turn.  How could she find a new property on her own, sell her home and pack for a move all before being released from rehab?  She called me to discuss her situation; I promised to do some research and get back to her.

By chance, I stumbled across a service run by an RN who is also an elder law attorney.  Ideally, this organization would offer services concerning medical, personal and legal issues.  My client reached out to them and a team was organized to help with the move and locating a more suitable living arrangement.  As her longtime financial advisor, I was given her permission to work with the outfit in helping to cover costs related to the move, downsizing her possessions, and arranging for her personal assistance needs.  Anne is now happily settled in her new quarters, living comfortably with her disabilities managed. 

As a financial advisor working closely with clients and understanding their needs as circumstances during their different life stages change, I was pleased to see Anne’s issues resolved so smoothly.  I was the conduit between Anne and this service.  She trusted me, so I was able to encourage her to have confidence in working with them.

So my fellow readers:

  • Be aware of the risks associated with solitary aging before a crisis
  • Work out a budget for a “what if” situation
  • If you are hesitant to explore this scenario, I suggest that this is an exercise of a   positive mental strategy
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