More than half of Americans aged 18 to 34 years are single and, romantic needs aside, this rise in singledom may have implications on caregiving and retirement needs for years to come, according to an article Sunday in Forbes.
For example, the media outlet noted, having children closer to traditional midlife may lead to even greater collisions with the needs of aging parents.
“Extended singlehood, and delays in having children, are likely to intensify the challenges of balancing career and children with caring for aging parents — making the coming sandwich generation of millennials feel more like a hard-pressed panini,” noted the article’s author, Joseph Coughlin, Ph.D., founder and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab.
It also could increase demand for long-term care even more, many say. For those who end up staying single all their lives, it also could have financial implications for retirement, Coughlin noted.
Self-care as an older person living alone, for example, requires additional retirement income to purchase and provide the services traditionally shared with a partner — for example, transportation, home healthcare and food shopping.
With approximately 27% of people in the United States agd more than 60 year now living alone, current trends likely will push that number much higher in coming decades.
“If so, individuals, and financial professionals, should focus less on traditional retirement planning, and focus more on longevity planning, to understand, and to prepare for the practical implications of choices made across the life course on life in older age,” Coughlin concluded.