Who's Going to Take Care of You When You're Old


Are a husband and kids a guarantee of a "good old age"???

I think I drove a nice, but naive, woman a little crazy yesterday. I hope I also gave her something to think about. Here's what happened. She and her kid sat beside me on a train to Long Island. I made the mistake of saying her kid was cute. The kid was cute --that wasn't the mistake-- but my comment opened the door to a much too long conversation that eventually led itself to me telling this woman I had no husband and no kids…and that I was ok with that.

Then this happened:

Lady: Oh no! Well, who's going to take care of you when you're old?

Me: I don't know for sure. Who's going to take care of you when you're old?

Lady: Well, I have a husband and kids. They'll take care of me.

Me: How do you know that?

And my "How do you know that" question is when I think she wished she had just chosen a different seat. I went on to lay out all the reasons she was no more secure in her old age than I am. You see, life is really uncertain; there just aren't any guarantees. It would be wonderful if every woman who had a husband and/or kids could be assured of a loving, cared-for old age. Unfortunately, that's just not necessarily true. I went on to explain to her:

A husband is no guarantee.

• Your husband could die before you do. That happens, you know.
• He could also be infirm at the same time you are, so he wouldn't be able to take care of you.
• Your husband might not have the financial means to take care of you the way you need to be taken care of, so you could still end up in a sub-par nursing home. Read more…



Expert advice

Save your breath because you only need two words to make him commit.
Are you REALLY thinking about their happiness?
If you keep finding yourself in heartbreaking, dead end relationships, listen up.
It seems like you can't do anything right.