I know of a friend who is about 45 years old and he has NOBODY in the world.

A single child, his father was also a single child. His mother was a rebel who did not keep in touch with anybody at all. Now after his parents death he has nobody at all. It is a scary kind of scenario – and I know that his bank account, mutual funds, etc. are held singly. He is unmarried, has no cousins (one cousin on the father’s side is supposed to be in Australia but not in touch with him).

OMG this is a scary scenario. He is employed in a service company and has friends, but frankly I do not think any of his friends know even this much about him.

Now for such a person financial planning should be easy, right? NO.

In India such people are in serious trouble. If all goes well and he is control of all his senses till he drops dead he should not have a problem. However –

a) if he falls ill and is unable to sign cheques who will handle it?

b) assisted living will have to be much earlier than in case of married couples (with or without children)

c) he actually may not care what happens to his money after his death, but if he were to fall short…who will bail him out?

I have suggested the following to him:

– buy a medical insurance policy, and hope they renew it till he drops dead

– no life insurance policy is necessary EXCEPT if he wishes to offer it to a caretaker as an incentive to take care of him during his old age. This creates some conflict of interest!

– he should find an old people’s home which will look after him in his old age EVEN if he has a terminal illness. Money spent here is well worth it.

– he could actually still get married…even if he were not to have kids, he would have somebody to talk to. He is 45..and in case he lives to 84…the marriage could still last 40 years!

– he has to make a detailed, detailed instruction and give it to a doc or a lawyer (along with a power of attorney) for redeeming his investments and paying all the bills including the funeral bill. This document is to be drafted carefully…

…all the best, I hope nobody is in such a pathetic state. It must be difficult.


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  1. it is difficult and it is not difficult 🙂
    medical insurance yes, living will giving instructions for respirator or none- yes, proper witnessed will- yes.
    well yes to cousins and friends, but this is the 21st C, right?
    “One must cut the coat according to the cloth” was one of the late parent’s favorite sayings.
    I try to live up to it.
    anything but pathetic, subrabhai– atleast our kids will not throw us out of the house. 🙂

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