This Article considers the impact of changing family structures on aging in contemporary America. It looks at two critical and interrelated aspects of aging—economic security and caretaking—and offers policy suggestions on how to improve the financial stability of and caretaking possibilities for elders. The core thesis is that our current social, legal, and economic structure for growing old is organized around the nuclear family with respect to both caretaking and financial security. As family structures change in terms of partnering (and re-partnering and non-partnering) and number of children, and with the increase in economic inequality, support for old age needs to change as well. Nonetheless, notwithstanding changing family forms and roles and economic disparities, we have not made the requisite changes to prepare for the forthcoming silver tsunami.
GW Paper Series
GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2019-21; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-21
Cahn, Naomi R., The Golden Years, Gray Divorce, Pink Caretaking, and Green Money (2018). Naomi Cahn, The Golden Years, Gray Divorce, Pink Caretaking, and Green Money, 52 Fam. L. Q. 57 (2018); GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2019-21; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3374476