No Kids? No Problem: 4 Ways “Solo Agers” Can Support Themselves

If you’re worried that you’ll go it alone in retirement and your later years, these tips can ensure “solo agers” have more support.

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Many Canadian investors might read that when it comes to aging, putting your faith in your kids is the way to go. Your children will care for your well-being and make sure that you’re healthy and safe as you age. But, what if you don’t have children?

Don’t worry. There are still ways you can set up your own support system in retirement. So let’s get into the top ways that “solo agers” can look after themselves as they age.

Build a team

First off, solo agers will need to build a team of people around themselves. Just because you don’t have children doesn’t mean you should go without a support system. In this case, ask yourself who you would call if you had a medical emergency in the middle of the night?

This is even more important if your children live far away from you, so it’s a strong question to ask. Solo agers will need to build a team around them that could consist of neighbours, healthcare professionals, and extended family members for these emergency situations. The key? Location, location, location. Having someone close to help you do everything from take you to the hospital to finding groceries will be a necessary element.

Build an aging plan

It would be nice to believe that you’ll be able to live in your own home without major healthcare issues in the future. But that likely won’t be the case. Even the healthiest of individuals can be set back by an unpredicted setback. Which is why solo agers should build a plan.

This plan will include identifying any legal matters, health care needs, or long-term care planning. Whether it’s where you’ll live later on in life, or how to continue being engaged in your lifestyle, building a plan is another necessary element of solo aging. If you’re unsure where to start, meet with your financial advisor who can guide you through the plan.

Build a proxy team

Then there are the serious matters. Not that these points before weren’t serious. But when it comes to your health and financial decisions, these proxies need to be put in place. And they must be up for the challenge.

A power of attorney will give someone selected by the solo ager complete authority to manage finances as well as healthcare decisions. This could include making monthly payments, setting up bills, and working with estate planners.

The same goes for health power of attorneys. This person will be designated to make medical decisions should the person not be able to speak for themselves. Paperwork must be filled out in either case, so make sure everything is in order for your power of attorneys.

Build a portfolio

When it comes to solo aging, one of the best ways to protect yourself is by setting up your finances to support yourself as you age. This will mean building a portfolio of investments that can support you throughout your later years.

In this case, if you’re worried that perhaps you won’t be as hands-on later on, investing in guaranteed investment certificates (GIC) and exchange-traded funds (ETF) could be the best options. A great option as an ETF is the iShares S&P/TSX Composite High Dividend Index ETF (TSX:XEI).

This ETF focuses on high-dividend-yielding Canadian companies, providing both income and diversification. It is designed for investors seeking stable, long-term returns with minimal active management. Additionally, its exposure to a broad range of sectors helps mitigate risk. With a 5.4% dividend yield, shares up 4.8% year to date, and a minimal expense ratio, it’s the perfect option to help see you through your solo aging with the financial support you’ll need.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Amy Legate-Wolfe has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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