By RICH FOLEY
It’s no surprise to me that I’m single and, lie as I might, not as young as I used to be. Like Kinky Friedman says, I’m too young for Medicare and too old for women to care. But does the media have to keep reminding me (and potential mates) of the disadvantages of aging? I got a double dose of bad news in that area over the weekend.
In an article titled “Yes, men also have biological clocks” in USA Weekend, a prominent urologist probably made sure that few women will ever marry a man past the age of 29. The article started by stating that a man’s fertility level starts dropping after the age of 30.
Even worse, after the age of 40, a man’s offspring supposedly run a higher risk of autism, lower IQ and birth defects. Since my father was 43 when I was born, that would explain my IQ. Everything else I guess I can attribute to undiagnosed birth defects. Joking aside, the article adds that women pregnant by men over 40 also run a higher rate of miscarriage.
That information goes a long way toward making sure I’ll never marry someone thinking about having her own child someday, at least not anyone reading that article. Now if one of those online matchmaker services ran a website specifically for people not planning to have children, maybe I’d have a better opportunity.
Even though I may have a biological clock, I’ve never heard it ticking. Besides, adoption is always an option. But even if I stay single (which is starting to seem more and more likely), that alone could present its own set of problems as I slide further into the abyss of geezerdom. I’ll get back to that in a minute, but first, another rant about AARP....
I’ve complained before about the never-ending stream of letters soliciting my membership in that organization. Chronologically, I may meet the minimum age to join the group, but I just don’t feel nearly that old and refuse to do anything to acknowledge that fact. That’s why I recently passed on attending a high school reunion. Who wants to hang out with those old-looking people who claim I’m their age? What would I do when they start pulling out pictures of their grandchildren?
Just when I’ve learned to accept and quickly dispose of the AARP letters, they apparently bought the mailing list from the mail-order firm that spells my name wrong and refuses to correct it. Now, I get AARP mail in two different names. Maybe I should save them and send them back with a change of address, giving them the mail-order company’s address. Think that would work?
Then there’s the other article I read. This one shares the happy news that single people are at a big disadvantage when it comes to retirement planning. At least I’m in a bigger group here than I would have guessed.
The article said that single people now make up 43 percent of the adult population, compared to just 28 percent 40 years ago. Look out, married people, we’re gaining on you! Nearly half of the total of singles are over 40 years old and 13 million of those have never married. Now there’s a group I’d join—“Too young for AARP, not ready to marry.” That is, if I could afford it.
According to the article, the cost of living for older singles is 40 percent higher than for couples. Those lucky married people get to share expenses, particularly housing costs. And, if something happens to the single person’s income, there isn’t a second one to fall back on.
Plus, long-term care insurance is more important for single people because there may not be anyone else available to take care of them. Luckily, in the case of my demise, I’ve already made arrangements for a friend to adopt my lifelong friend Teddy and all the rest of my stuffed bears, including the laundry basket full of Snuggles. That will be much cheaper than having to provide for children. Just give the bears a hug once in a while and they’re happy.
The article did say that single people can save money by skipping life insurance if they have no children. There’s no need to worry about burial expenses, either. Just put me in the trunk of the Buick and sell it to some unsuspecting out-of-state dealer. I couldn’t do that if I had a wife and kids. And please, no matter what, don’t give the address of my final destination to AARP.