Central Labour Court
Resources & Information

Retirement health insurance for solo agers can be a challenging issue. This unique demographic is the fastest growing segment of our population and requires its own planning, as they do not have the benefit of a partner or adult children to help with care needs down the road.

For boomers like Janet who have no family, this can mean a significant challenge for later years. The good news is that, by thinking ahead and creating a plan of action, they can create a network of support to help with healthcare issues and other challenges that arise.

The first step for any solo ager is to establish what they want their retirement to look like. This might include continuing to work in their field or starting a new business, writing a book, or taking on an adventurous trip of some kind. They may also choose to make a home in a senior community. These communities, known as CCRCs (Continuing Care Retirement Communities) or LifePlan communities, offer high levels of care that can be accessed as health issues occur. These are often one of the most expensive options for Solo Agers but also offer an opportunity to be surrounded by others and have built in support in a way that is not possible when remaining at home.

Another consideration is determining their level of retirement savings and income. If they are not on track with their savings goals it is a good idea to consult a financial planner. Corey Voorman, founder of Voorman Investment Counsel in Plymouth, MI, recommends solo agers consider fiduciary financial planners who will act in their best interest.

Once they have established a budget and their income and savings, they can start to think about how they will access healthcare coverage. For those who retire before age 65 and lose their employer based health coverage, they can use the Marketplace to find a private plan that is right for them. Depending on their income, they may be eligible for a subsidy that can reduce the cost of their premiums and co-pays.

It is a good idea for all seniors to prepare a power of attorney and have a Massachusetts Go to link Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form and a health care proxy in place. AARP offers information on how to prepare these documents.

Whether they decide to remain in their own homes, move into a senior living community or another option, it is important for all Solo Agers to develop an ongoing relationship with an Aging Life Care Professional. This will help them refine their plans as they change, and provide a trusted advocate to assist with decision making when needed. In addition, they should consider their long-term care plan to ensure they have the resources to pay for in home care services, a move to assisted living or even nursing home care. This is a critical part of retirement planning for any person, but especially for the 27 million American seniors who are going it alone.