According to a UK survey, almost a third of people, 31%, aged 45 to 54 cite a lack of cash in their 70s and 80s as their top worry. This is followed by a loss of independence (26%) and dementia (23%).
I don't think about old age poverty very often but it's there at the back of my mind; I only think about it when I'm at the supermarket and I see someone who is well past it mopping the floors or swiping purchases.
So what about being old and poor scares me?
- I don't want to be cold. Many old people can't afford to heat their home.
- I don't ever want to go hungry. Seriously, food is such a basic human need, you shouldn't suffer for it in your 70s and 80s.
- I want to be able to afford all the medical bills including my own incontinence diapers! Come on, would you want anyone knowing you wear diapers other than your partner and perhaps your nurse? Worse still, you don't want to have "accidents" in public. Medical bills are the top reason for old age poverty in the US, in the UK, the government takes care of us on that front.
- I don't want to be a burden on my relatives or children, they have their own responsibilities.
- I don't want to have to go to an old people's home. If I'm too old to live independently I like to think that I can form some form of a cooperative with my best friends. How would it work?
We would combine our money and live in a big house together with a couple of qualified nurses helping us take care of ourselves.
With this arrangement if someone's partner moved on to the next life we would still have each other for company. I've never thought about this co-op way of living before but thinking about it now feels good. I'll run it by my friends. What are you doing to stave poverty when you're old?
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