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songchick

Retiring with No Family?

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songchick

Hello all!

 

I am in my mid-30s, ace, not at all interested in being in a relationship and having a family. My mother is my world and my best friend, she is in her early 70s. We live together, and we help one another financially and with chores, etc. She will not be around forever though, and I'm nervous. My brother has a girlfriend, and I guess they could be my family. But I am just worried about ending up alone. I like solitude, but then when I get older there will be no one to help me. My mom is a senior center director, and I see how elderly people progress. Those who have children and families end up safe and cared for. Those who are alone with no children are at higher risk of things like hoarding (I've seen this), losing finances to the government, and they're just alone. I'm worried that this will happen to me, all because I choose to express my asexuality by not starting a family.

What do you think of this?

Also, I'm thinking of writing an article about this, I am starting to pitch sites atm.

 

Thanks for reading! :)

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Sinking_In

I'm surprised there aren't more platonic life-long roommate type situations for folks who are done with, or have no interest in, romantic entanglements. Not saying you in particular, but generally speaking. I could see this appealing to middle-aged and senior divorcees, as well as asexual individuals. Like any partnership, though, it's easier said than done. 

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Grimalkin

Start working at a multi-weekend Renaissance faire. 

 

Okay, maybe not a Renaissance faire specifically (still fun though, and the New York Renaissance Faire is amazing), but maybe invest in the kind of hobby that is done a) with other people, and b) takes up a lot of your time. Shop around a little. Hobby communities, if you find one with the right amount of fervor, are some of the tightest knit platonic groups you will ever find. Like those old dudes in motorcycle gangs who collect toys for children during Christmastime. Those guys have each others backs. 

 

It can be hard to find a platonic life partner (not saying you shouldn't still try), but your next best bet are the kinds of groups where brotherhood (or sisterhood, or personhood... you get it) is everything. And really, you only find that sort of thing in niche hobby areas, because the hobbies that are easier to get into have people come and go with the wind. 

 

You may not have any one particular hobby that you're passionate about, but you have plenty of time to shop around and it will make you some great friends. 

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songchick
8 minutes ago, Grimalkin said:

Start working at a multi-weekend Renaissance faire. 

 

Okay, maybe not a Renaissance faire specifically (still fun though, and the New York Renaissance Faire is amazing), but maybe invest in the kind of hobby that is done a) with other people, and b) takes up a lot of your time. Shop around a little. Hobby communities, if you find one with the right amount of fervor, are some of the tightest knit platonic groups you will ever find. Like those old dudes in motorcycle gangs who collect toys for children during Christmastime. Those guys have each others backs. 

 

It can be hard to find a platonic life partner (not saying you shouldn't still try), but your next best bet are the kinds of groups where brotherhood (or sisterhood, or personhood... you get it) is everything. And really, you only find that sort of thing in niche hobby areas, because the hobbies that are easier to get into have people come and go with the wind. 

 

You may not have any one particular hobby that you're passionate about, but you have plenty of time to shop around and it will make you some great friends. 

I'm a mental health advocate, and I am connected to other advocates. Specifically I'm about peer work, although I don't know if I want to help people who are not as recovered as I am in my own home. Also, i'm definitely a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 to that degree, but that's sort of an obscure show? There are die-hard fans online.

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Jade Cross

For me, I dont see ending up alone as a threat? (I guess its the best word?) like it can be deemed by others, mostly because the dynamics of families/companionship dont hold any interest to me and I have always found myself to be at peace on my own as opposed to any kind of group.

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songchick
4 minutes ago, Jade Cross said:

For me, I dont see ending up alone as a threat? (I guess its the best word?) like it can be deemed by others, mostly because the dynamics of families/companionship dont hold any interest to me and I have always found myself to be at peace on my own as opposed to any kind of group.

Right, I definitely like being alone also. It's just like, when I get more feeble and need medical attention and nursing care, no one will be there to help me stay home with my family. I'd just be shuffled into government housing or a nursing home while getting no visitors. When I was living in mental hospitals, my mom visited me every day and that meant worlds. I don't want to be tucked away into a nursing home with no visitors for the rest of my life.

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daveb

Of course, anyone can end up alone in that sense (no spouse, no children, no other close family), regardless of sexuality or other factors. That said, I do understand your concerns and I believe they are valid. I have heard that people who get regular visitors often get better care. And there is the issue of staying in your own home vs living in some sort of facility. For myself, I can only hope I can manage on my own for many years to come like my grandfather did. It was only his last few years (well into his 90s) that he moved into a retirement home, where he had his own apartment, regular outings, and a certain level of independence. He wasn't bedridden or otherwise in need of constant care or much assistance. For me, having to share my home with another person could be problematic. It would take someone really special for them to put up with me and vice versa. :P 

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songchick
13 minutes ago, daveb said:

Of course, anyone can end up alone in that sense (no spouse, no children, no other close family), regardless of sexuality or other factors. That said, I do understand your concerns and I believe they are valid. I have heard that people who get regular visitors often get better care. And there is the issue of staying in your own home vs living in some sort of facility. For myself, I can only hope I can manage on my own for many years to come like my grandfather did. It was only his last few years (well into his 90s) that he moved into a retirement home, where he had his own apartment, regular outings, and a certain level of independence. He wasn't bedridden or otherwise in need of constant care or much assistance. For me, having to share my home with another person could be problematic. It would take someone really special for them to put up with me and vice versa. :P 

I'm wondering if this is a valid discussion that would be related to the "asexual experience." Maybe it is too similar to the standard plight that older adults face? I feel like lack of offspring is something that would affect aces at a higher rate, although the discussion would be "boring" because it's already happening en masse. I want to put an ace spin on it somehow.

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thylacine
1 hour ago, songchick said:

Hello all!

 

I am in my mid-30s, ace, not at all interested in being in a relationship and having a family. My mother is my world and my best friend, she is in her early 70s. We live together, and we help one another financially and with chores, etc. She will not be around forever though, and I'm nervous. My brother has a girlfriend, and I guess they could be my family. But I am just worried about ending up alone. I like solitude, but then when I get older there will be no one to help me. My mom is a senior center director, and I see how elderly people progress. Those who have children and families end up safe and cared for. Those who are alone with no children are at higher risk of things like hoarding (I've seen this), losing finances to the government, and they're just alone. I'm worried that this will happen to me, all because I choose to express my asexuality by not starting a family.

What do you think of this?

Also, I'm thinking of writing an article about this, I am starting to pitch sites atm.

 

Thanks for reading! :)

Have you considered taking in foster kids or adopting?

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daveb

Yes, I'd guess it's possible/likely that it affects aces in higher percentages, but maybe not in total numbers since aces are a small percentage of the total population. I'd guess LGBT folks would also have higher percentages who face the same prospect.

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daveb
7 minutes ago, songchick said:

I want to put an ace spin on it somehow.

Ah, gotcha. I know aces in my generation (and younger) who have kids, but a good many of us don't. I am retired, with no offspring (and no spouse, currently or in the past).

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songchick
7 minutes ago, thylacine said:

Have you considered taking in foster kids or adopting?

I don't have enough money for that, though I've considered adopting. I know a couple of single women who have done this. I really like solitude though. 😕

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songchick
5 minutes ago, daveb said:

Ah, gotcha. I know aces in my generation (and younger) who have kids, but a good many of us don't. I am retired, with no offspring (and no spouse, currently or in the past).

Yeah I feel like this article is going nowhere. daaaang.

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daveb
2 minutes ago, songchick said:

Yeah I feel like this article is going nowhere. daaaang.

Sorry <_<

Yeah, not sure how you could pitch it to make it ace-specific or ace-centered, unless you just say it's not that other demographics wouldn't have similar concerns but aces might be more likely to be subject to it?

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songchick
4 minutes ago, daveb said:

Sorry <_<

Yeah, not sure how you could pitch it to make it ace-specific or ace-centered, unless you just say it's not that other demographics wouldn't have similar concerns but aces might be more likely to be subject to it?

Yea, I think the topic has been well discussed and researched. Gotta go back to the drawing board.

 

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teatree
2 hours ago, songchick said:

My mom is a senior center director, and I see how elderly people progress. Those who have children and families end up safe and cared for.

Really? Many people in nursing homes have kids who can't (due to their own life circumstances), or don't want to, take care of them.

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Tanwen

Having children is no guarantee you wont end up alone - an one of your main fears appears to be that you will become frain and need looking after. That may  happen - or you may remain fit and feisty to the end; unfortunately (or fortunately?) none of us knows. My son and his wife are moving out on 18 Jan - and I can't wait. He's a lovely person when sober; unfortunately he isn't often sober and I'm tired of the verbal abuse; but it will be the first time in my life that I will be living alone - and I'm 71 next month. I wont be in this house for long, but I'm having to find rented accommodation that will allow me to keep my 3 dogs - I may have to throw myself on the mercy of my younger son at least temporarily.

I was the main carer for my mother, and it was a strain - it's left me with social anxiety and I cannot even think about forming friendships now. So, I would suggest you form them now (if you haven't already) while both you and your mother are still active. Mine didn't want me to go out other than to work so my world became smaller and smaller. I've begun to chip away at my prison - I'm doing an Open University degree and last year got up the courage to go to a day school in Milton Keynes - I was so unbelievably PROUD of myself

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Balance

Personally, I wouldn't want to live with my close friends (aka Golden Girl tv show style), but I would like to live near them, kind of like in HS or something. So they live within a few miles of you so you can get together without having to deal with a roommate.

 

As for your article, I think it would make sense to write about older adulthood stuff like dealing with becoming more crippled, relying more on grocery delivery, possibly some nursing care, maid, etc and the ability to just end it (assisted suicide or a dr that just makes it so you don't wake up, puts you in a coma, etc). I think all people probably deal with that to some extent, and I would never expect a kid to take care of me  they have their own life to deal with. And don't adopt/foster a kid just so you have someone, it's probably cheaper to get groceries delivered, etc than to adopt a kid to do that for you years later anyway.  In your article you could talk about Aces as one of those people affected by aging, even saying that Aces have been alone way longer than any other type of person. They might or might not have friends to have a social outlet, but essentially they've been alone. 

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thylacine

You could always volunteer to help homeless people, or something?  It would give your life meaning and purpose.

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songchick
23 hours ago, teatree said:

Really? Many people in nursing homes have kids who can't (due to their own life circumstances), or don't want to, take care of them.

Absolutely true.

 

 

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Nick2

Sounds like what you are seeking is security at a point in your life when you might not be able to fend for yourself.  I think all of us are concerned about that.  In my case, I would hope some family member would be there for me and at the same time I would feel like I was burdening them.  In a month I am going in the hospital for surgery.  One of the things they told me was that I would have to have someone drive me home afterwards.  That has caused me more concern than the surgery.  I hate to ask someone to do that but will soon.

Being by yourself has plusses and minuses.  There is not going to an easy or correct answer for this.  I guess it is life.

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Catpaws

@Nick2

I do that right now for an uncle of mine - I take him to his appointments and surgeries when he isn't able to bus or rideshare home. He lives alone, is fiercely independent, and I'm positive he sees asking for this as an imposition. But I'm happy to do it. if you were in my city, I'd volunteer to drive you.

 

The funny thing is, I believe the same thing about myself, that asking for help is a burden on others, even as I'm happy to help others who need it.

 

The thought of aging and being alone in the years when help is needed does worry me. It's already an issue - my work emergency contact moved across the country two years ago, and I haven't updated that information because it feels like a huge imposition to ask someone do to that. I don't yet know how it's going to work out either.

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teatree
1 hour ago, Catpaws said:

The funny thing is, I believe the same thing about myself, that asking for help is a burden on others, even as I'm happy to help others who need it.

Absolutely! I think many people feel this way. I hate asking for help, even if someone is specifically offering their services. ("No, no, I'm fine....") 

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ryn2
On 1/10/2020 at 8:10 PM, Sinking_In said:

I'm surprised there aren't more platonic life-long roommate type situations for folks who are done with, or have no interest in, romantic entanglements. Not saying you in particular, but generally speaking. I could see this appealing to middle-aged and senior divorcees, as well as asexual individuals. Like any partnership, though, it's easier said than done. 

It’s something I’d love but in practice a lot of middle-aged and younger senior divorced people hope to move on to another romantic relationship.

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ryn2
On 1/10/2020 at 10:26 PM, teatree said:

Really? Many people in nursing homes have kids who can't (due to their own life circumstances), or don't want to, take care of them.

Very true.  The visible, involved families who strongly advocate for the loved ones stand out but there are plenty of other seniors who appear to have no family but actually have no close, available family.

 

Having kids is no guarantee of having someone who can, wants to, and will look after you as you age.

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ryn2
On 1/12/2020 at 9:42 AM, Nick2 said:

That has caused me more concern than the surgery.

So same!  I have my next routine colonoscopy in 2023 and I’m worrying a bit about a driver already.  I’m also putting off an elective thing because I have no one to take care of me while I can’t drive afterwards.

 

Not only do I not want to be a burden, I have no family left.  My last parent died 21 years ago and my “family” between then and my divorce was my ex’s family.

 

~
 

I’m fine with being alone on a routine basis but it makes emergencies and major things (medical, financial, physically demanding) challenging.

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Semisweet
15 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

 I have my next routine colonoscopy in 2023 and I’m worrying a bit about a driver already.

Surely the fact that many patients have no one at the ready to drive them home from such procedures is an issue every day at every hospital. And even if a specified relative or friend picks you up, the hospital has no way to know if they actually took you safely home or pushed you out of the car a block away. So why can’t hospitals either let patients without a likely driver call a taxi or ride share that would accomplish the same purpose, or else offer their own transit service to patients in this situation?:mellow:

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ryn2
1 hour ago, Semisweet said:

Surely the fact that many patients have no one at the ready to drive them home from such procedures is an issue every day at every hospital.

Oh, it is, but they won’t do the procedure without your responsible party there to sign.

 

1 hour ago, Semisweet said:

And even if a specified relative or friend picks you up, the hospital has no way to know if they actually took you safely home or pushed you out of the car a block away.

Also true but you and the responsible party sign saying they will take you home and stay with you for the rest of the day.

 

It’s a release of liability thing.  A ride share driver won’t stay with you for hours.

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Sally
1 hour ago, ryn2 said:

Very true.  The visible, involved families who strongly advocate for the loved ones stand out but there are plenty of other seniors who appear to have no family but actually have no close, available family.

 

Having kids is no guarantee of having someone who can, wants to, and will look after you as you age.

Yes indeed.  I have two children -- but my daughter is  disabled and lives in a group home, and my son is not at all good about helping other people, his mother included.  

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daveb
1 hour ago, ryn2 said:

Oh, it is, but they won’t do the procedure without your responsible party there to sign.

 

Also true but you and the responsible party sign saying they will take you home and stay with you for the rest of the day.

 

It’s a release of liability thing.  A ride share driver won’t stay with you for hours.

I encountered this issue, too. It might vary a bit though. At my old city/doctor they required me to have someone sign in and wait for me. At a more recent occasion in my current location they let my "driver" leave the building while the procedure was being done and just asked that they came back around the time I would be released. And I think at least part of the motivation is covering themselves in case of issues after you leave their premises.

 

I'm sure if they provided a service to drive people home it would be very costly.

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