About 51% of Americans retire anywhere from age 61-65. Typically, people retire when they can start receiving social security benefits from the government, but some stay working longer for financial reasons, and some call it quits earlier if they’re financially sound for the future. People retiring in their early-mid 60s often find themselves at a unique, new place in life. Most people who retire have worked most of their lives. Some have had families as well. Now, it’s likely they have grown children, an “empty nest,” and a lot of time and stability. That’s why retirement can be so quiet, and one of the reasons some people take up things like traveling or starting a new hobby. But some retirees are choosing to change the look of retirement by bringing life back to their empty nest. More older individuals are choosing to adopt after retirement and raise a family. Whether you’ve already gone through raising children in your younger years, or you never had the opportunity to have a family of your own, adoption can be a good fit for retired adults who are ready for the next chapter of their lives.
There’s a Growing Need for Good Families
The foster care system is in place to provide homes for children who aren’t able to be looked after by their birth parents or other family members. There are about 440,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, all of different ages, and all looking for a forever family.
Kids enter this system for a variety of reasons. Most often, it has to do with neglect, but they could also come from families linked with heavy drug use, alcoholism, or criminal activity. So, the needs of some children in foster care are often greater/different than children who haven’t been exposed to such things.
As a senior, adopting a child from the foster care system might be a challenge, thanks to the special needs they may have. But it could also be the perfect time in your life to do it. If you’re currently in a chapter of life where you don’t have the responsibility of work or taking care of other children, you can devote your time and attention to a child. In many cases, all these children need is to feel secure and loved.
If you do have time on your hands and you feel you have extra love to give, adopting a child who has come from a difficult background can be beneficial for both of you, and you can make a lasting impact on their lives that will last with them through adulthood.
Accepting and Embracing Change
For some seniors, retirement is about accepting changes in your life. That’s not always easy, especially when you’re used to things being a certain way (ie; going to a job every day). Managing these life changes effectively requires an ability to understand your expectations, focus on different opportunities, identify your goals, and accept the changes for what they are.
You might be struggling with the fact that your house is empty. Even if it has been for years, being at home all of the time without going to work can make the realization feel heavier. Unfortunately, far too many seniors struggle with spending time with their older children or even hearing from them. Maybe your children still help you out or have remained close, but the absence of them being there can create a sense of loneliness, or you might be wondering what your purpose is.
Adoption is a great way to accept change, embrace it, and understand how it could affect your life in a really positive way.
Is Adoption Right for You?
If you’re recently retired and you’re wondering what the next phase of your life will look like, why not consider adoption? It’s a huge undertaking, yes, and an even bigger responsibility, especially with a child who has come from a tough background. But by taking it into consideration, you could be changing your own life and the life of a child for the better.
There are a few things you should keep in mind if you choose to adopt. First, make sure you’re financially prepared. Retirement financial planning can help to ensure you’re comfortable throughout your golden years, but factoring in the cost of a child can add a lot to your budget. That’s especially true if you’re already supporting your older children. If you need extra income, consider options like a reverse mortgage, look into any pensions you might be entitled to from your years of work (or military service) or take on a part-time job.
It’s also important to make sure you have the time, energy, and health to devote to a child. While Americans are living longer, some people feel that once they’ve retired, they’re entitled to relaxation. If you feel you won’t be able to keep up with a child, adoption may not be right for you.
But if you’re ready to begin a new adventure and provide love, stability, and support to a child in need, adoption is a great option for retirees planning their next chapter.