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Old 08-24-2017, 11:20 PM
 
4,447 posts, read 2,621,737 times
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I/we're a bit younger, but I've been Early medically retired, and now am "semi retired" as I've gone back to work, to help boost my SSDI before it becomes permanent.

I knew in my 30s that if I didn't have kids by 40, I would not ever have them. And since I was 37 before I found my OH, it was highly unlikely. Being male "just getting pregnant" wouldn't work! Lol.

My OH didn't want kids either, and extremely highly unlikely we'd have any unless we adopted. And neither of us really could afford it.

Some of you may have read my posts about how I had severe medical issues caused me to go through savings and retirement and I actually ended up homeless living under a bridge by the RR tracks. Literally. I would have lost any kids I did have to the state.

We have very close friends we are considered family to, who has an adopted son and my OH actually married him to the daughter in law, and they have three kids, we consider our "great nephews". The 5 of them are our heirs. We don't have a major estate now but will in the future.

We don't expect them to care for us, but the more help they give us the larger our estate will be for them. If they don't at all, and we pay out everything there'll be nothing for them. So it will be their benefit to help out, as we have no qualms about not leaving a penny if we need to pay for all help as we get "really old". My other half is 4.5 years older than I, but my health is and has always been worse, while my OH has largely been healthy. So who cares for who I don't yet know.

My OH is an only child and we already know caring for an 89 yo, soon to be 90 but loosing his memory is difficult and fil is largely still independent. My remaining father is 83, and in fairly good health for now, anyway. We expect in 5 years to only have my father, if we still have him at all. By then we should be in a warmer climate, away from him and long distance care will be further taxing on us, as he flatly intends to stay in NY. Maybe we can change his mind in 5 years. FIL is really just waiting to die, has been since my mil passed in 2013.

I don't expect we'll exactly be "lonely", but it could happen. FIL is, but won't go to the senior center or do anything about it,so his loneliness is his fault. My father is a loner of sorts, so he's fine being couped up for days on end in bad winter weather.
We'll find enough activities to do that we don't have time for now as we are working. We'll get to do the things we have always wanted to do.

I have a childless sibling in prison for life, so no worries or kids there either. And it's NOT my job to look after said sibling while incarcerated. Incarceration will take care of that for better or worse.

So we are quite fine with our childless existence and have felt richly rewarded for having the "family" we have created. The three "great nephews" give us much joy to watch growing up, yet we can have them off to mommy and daddy when they get to be too much, much lol there.

It's all in how you plan and execute your life. And whom you interact with as you move along in life.
Best wishes to all who are in the same boat.
Maybe we'll see you on the shuffle board court, lol.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:30 AM
 
1,831 posts, read 2,140,227 times
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Perhaps it is the culture in which we find ourselves but my observation and close experience is that children are a complete waste of time and resources if we expect them to be a part of our retirement life. No I do not regret no children.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:39 AM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,194 posts, read 2,861,612 times
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Wanted kids. Couldn't have biologic thanks to a medical issue. Was very much tested on our "choice" with over 10 years of combined IVF/surgeries/adoption fail.

Decided it was time to take care of us after all that. Not an easy decision at the time - but looking back? Absolutely no regrets.

I'm from a large family - lots of siblings with their kids around.... but we are not expecting them to help us.

First hand experience with my MIL and infighting between her children regarding her care and how her life will play out. It is NOT pretty. There are no guarantees.

Know exactly how to initiate self-care and everything that's needed to live out life in dignity.

Sometimes kids are the problem.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:23 AM
 
Location: USA
6,226 posts, read 5,368,002 times
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Childless and a life long single. I have tons of hobbies and interests so I don't have time to feel "lonely." I think those people don't have much going on in their lives and need others to entertain them.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,797 posts, read 4,848,703 times
Reputation: 19499
Quote:
Originally Posted by submart View Post
Thank you for all of the replies.

It's refreshing to know that nobody had any regrets. You are living a meaningful life without children and grandchildren.

A couple of you mentioned being lonely. However, this is not unique to those without children. And making friends and getting involved in your community will help with that. Some of you also mentioned getting a pet! Good thinking.

A couple of you mentioned a fear of getting dementia. Luckily, having auto-payments, alarms on cell phones, weekly pill boxes, etc. can help with short term memory. I know many people with "functional" dementia. They just have adaptive devices.
Those things will help, but they only go so far. At some point you need someone to go to the doctor with you, because you no longer know your own medical history, or who your doctor is, or where their office is, and how to get there. You no longer remember who your insurer is, or if you have your insurance ID card, or what's in the purse you constantly carry, other than Kleenex and tic-tacs. You don't know your address, or what state you're living in. You won't remember whatever it was the doctor told you that you should do, and when his receptionist calls with the results of your test, you won't remember having that test, or what it was for, and what the significance is of the test results. If they write you a scrip, and send it to the pharmacy, you won't remember to go pick it up. Nothing makes sense anymore.

This is an exact description of my MIL's situation and some of our normal situations on a typical day. Sometimes it takes more than a few modern conveniences to deal with dementia once it gets to that point. MIL was in IL apartments, didn't want to go into assisted living, didn't want to live with us, and was unsafe to live on her own. Fortunately we had POA, so it wasn't easy for any of us, but we moved her into AL against her wishes. This is what I want to avoid for myself by setting up trust and facing the reality of dementia if it comes.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:43 AM
 
5,456 posts, read 2,843,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by submart View Post
Hi Retirees,

More and more people are choosing not to have children. People who make this decision are often told they will:

1. Be lonely when they get "old"
2. Have nobody to take care of them when they get old.
3. Regret their decision later on in life.

So my question relates to above. Do you have any regrets in not having children?

My answer to statement #1 is that they can join a senior group, live in 55+ community, volunteer, work, etc.
My answer to statement #2 is with all the money being saved by not having kids a person can comfortably pay for a home health aide and long term care insurance. I don't have an answer for statement #3 as it is so individual and I'm only 33.

I've worked in a nursing home for over seven years and even people with children can be lonely or have housing/financial issues. People tend to live farther away from home and have their own finances to deal with. Besides, some people are not close with their adult children for whatever reason.

I find that elders with a sense of purpose in life are the happiest. Having children or grandchildren don't necessarily play a role.


Anyway, I just wanted to know your thoughts.

Thanks!
1. No. I would not count on relatives for social life anyway. Being friends is a voluntary, two-way affair--more conducive to good emotional health. With family, the same old same old dysfunctional ways of interacting keep playing.
2. Who says offspring will care for parents? Other care arrangements can be made, ahead of time.
3. NO REGRETS about not breeding! In fact, the more screwed-up family situations I see or know, the more it reinforces not having had kids. The well-functioning ones don't make me think "Mine would be like those," either.

In particular, having kids means that down the line, there is a fair chance you would be expected to continue having kids--grandkids that the parents want to escape from either sporadically or continuously.

Given how the US has completely forgotten that too many of any species for the habitat is a very bad thing, there is no reason to feel bad about not adding to the burden.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,631 posts, read 17,606,575 times
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I'm child-free and single, but just 31.

I've never had any desire to have children of my own. It is something that I've never wanted. Getting married? Yes, but I've only been that in love with one woman and that was a decade ago. I've had numerous relationships since then, but never been madly in love since. The way it's going in my current location, I don't expect marriage to happen either.

A woman I went to high school with has two children. The older has severe autism and is basically nonfunctional. The younger was born with cerebral palsy, is completely blind, and has other health issues. She can't work much with children in this shape. At the time, she was single, but is getting married in a few weeks. The local paper did a story about her a couple years back to help raise funds. If I was her, I would feel like my life was completely over and would be suicidal. Her life is basically now consumed by caregiving. What will those children do when she can no longer care for them?

A friend of my father lived down the street from us when I was a kid. His son was in my class and was riding his bicycle without a helmet down the the road one night, when a neighbor backed out and hit him. The kid was a genius and an excellent chess player. That was in 1997 and he's my age, with profound neurological and cognitive problems. He's wheelchair bound for the rest of his life and his mother posted on Facebook that his health issues "bankrupted them." He is now a pretty big guy and they are in their late 60s.

I can't imagine having a child with a profound disability. To me, that would be like a prison sentence. I know that seems selfish, but that's how I'd feel.

At my age and being in a small town, most women on the dating market have kids. I would consider, maybe, dating someone with a kid that's five or older. That's the age where they can start being reasoned with and can be fun. I despise babies and hope I never have one.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,631 posts, read 17,606,575 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
Those things will help, but they only go so far. At some point you need someone to go to the doctor with you, because you no longer know your own medical history, or who your doctor is, or where their office is, and how to get there. You no longer remember who your insurer is, or if you have your insurance ID card, or what's in the purse you constantly carry, other than Kleenex and tic-tacs. You don't know your address, or what state you're living in. You won't remember whatever it was the doctor told you that you should do, and when his receptionist calls with the results of your test, you won't remember having that test, or what it was for, and what the significance is of the test results. If they write you a scrip, and send it to the pharmacy, you won't remember to go pick it up. Nothing makes sense anymore.

This is an exact description of my MIL's situation and some of our normal situations on a typical day. Sometimes it takes more than a few modern conveniences to deal with dementia once it gets to that point. MIL was in IL apartments, didn't want to go into assisted living, didn't want to live with us, and was unsafe to live on her own. Fortunately we had POA, so it wasn't easy for any of us, but we moved her into AL against her wishes. This is what I want to avoid for myself by setting up trust and facing the reality of dementia if it comes.
This isn't directly the topic of this thread, but people in that situation whose "bodies are functioning but minds are gone," for lack of a better term, in years past would have died much earlier.

A friend of mine is in his early 60s now. Years ago, maybe ten to twelve, his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I don't remember if I knew him that far back, but it was an agonizing process. The constant managing of medical appointments/medicines. She had several rental properties and a complicated estate. I don't remember what all he went through but it was a new odyssey every week.

I have no idea how she would have managed without him.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:55 AM
 
6,578 posts, read 4,102,919 times
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You find very few people who are "childfree by choice" who will say that they regret that choice.

You will find very few people who are "parents by choice" who will say that they regret that, either.

And the people in both groups can think of several very compelling reasons why they absolutely wouldn't ever want to be on the other side.

The people who openly admit they are unhappy with their situation are generally those who feel that it was forced upon them by some circumstance or other.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:01 AM
 
5,456 posts, read 2,843,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrassTacksGal View Post
How would someone without children regret it? They never had it. They have no idea what children bring to your life throughout your life. You can't miss something you never had.
By the same logic, how can those who had kids know what they missed by having them? Things such as greater flexibility (in career, choice of home area, daily habits, hobbies, type of living quarters).

An animal that has been caged its entire life, when set free, sometimes stays in the cage. It does not know what it missed.

For some people, having kids serves as a security blanket, not a good reason for having them.
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