More and more aging baby boomers who have never had children are now wondering who is going to care for them in their final years.
A study by AARP showed that 12 percent of women ages 80 to 84 were childless in 2010. That number is expected to grow to 16 percent by 2016.
At the same time, the number of caregivers is shrinking. In 2010, there were seven potential caregivers for every person over 80 in 2010. That number is due to drop to just four by 2030.
So with more childless elderly people and fewer caregivers, who is going to care for them?
An article in the New York Times suggests the burden may end up falling on cousins, nieces and nephews and friends. This is how if often works in the gay and lesbian community.
The article also raises questions about issues such as housing arrangements, estate planning and who is to be in charge of financial arrangements.
Some childless friends are moving in together.
One benefit to not having children is that such people usually have more financial resources available to pay for care, since they did not have to spend money raising and educating children.
As far as what to do with their estates is concerned, many are establishing foundations in their names or just leave the money to charity. Others leave it to siblings, nieces, nephews or friends.