A year or so ago, I was chatting on the phone with an older buddy who lives up north in my home area. He raised three kids with his wife, but they got divorced while the youngest was nearly finishing high school. I guess it's been about 20 years now since they've been divorced. Anyway, he stayed with me for about a year after he and his wife broke up, and I could tell he was having difficulty adjusting to the single life from the married life. We were like the Odd Couple. He would go back and forth from Felix to Oscar. He was probably thinking the same thing about me. One way or another, we drove each other crazy. Anyway, during this particular phone conversation I had with him a year or so ago, he blunted out, "You got that nurse yet?", his way of asking, "Aren't you married yet?". So I guess he thinks it goes from wife to nurse as you age. What he said made sense at the time, as you want someone there for you if you get sick and old, but now I beg to differ. When I think about people who've been married a long time, which is hard to find these days, unlike my grandparents generation, it doesn't always work out as you having someone there to take care of you as you get old. When you and your wife get pass 40 or 50, it's a good possibility that you may wound up being her nurse, because she ages right along with you, and she's vulnerable to high-blood pressure, diabetes, bad kidneys, and all other things that could lead to stroke, heart disease, etc. I remember my own grandparents. My grandmother spent the last 10 years of her life in a wheel-chair, while my grandfather took care of house. Although they had 10 children, and 84 grandchildren (at that time anyway) to help out, however with todays' smaller family size, he wouldn't have had much help. So when I think about my very own grandparents, and some of the real life situations I see today with some of the elderly, being married doesn't automatically protect you from wounding up in a nursing home. Especially with todays couples, who aren't having that many kids. I guess my point is, I wouldn't want a wife who has to take care of me when I'm not able to do on my own. That is when you need a nurse for real. I have seen so many families of the elderly send their spouses or parent(s) to a nursing home, especially when they didn't have a health plan that included daily visits by a nurse, or something similar. When I think about it, if I were married and got that sick, I wouldn't want to put my family members through all of that, especially my wife. And I'd sure wouldn't want to be the one caring for a wife who is too old and sick to do for herself either, which is a good possibility when you both get up their in age. So to make a long story short, I think you need to depend on you spouse more to keep you from getting sick, not to take care of you when you're old and sick, the way my buddy was coming across in that phone conversation. I think the best way for a senior couple to handle these later life-stage challenges, is for both of them to live in a senior living community. This doesn't necessarily mean a nursing home, as you know. When a couple start getting to old to do for themselves, then this could be a good move, especially when they can get into a good one that takes care of house cleaning, medications, etc... This way, they will always be together. It would be like staying on vacation together in a clean motel with room service, except this motel will be a one or two bedroom apartment, with a patio, and plenty of recreation. As a matter of fact, this doesn't sound like a bad move for a single senior brother or sister. I hear this is becoming a little more popular anyway with seniors. However there are some drawbacks I guess, especially the price it cost to live in some of these good senior living communities. But someone with a real good pension plan wouldn't have a problem. A lot of people think this is better than trying to hold on to a big house, especially when you don't have a lot of grandchildren coming around, or a lot of kids of your own, which sounds like that shrinking family trend I was talking about. Anyway, these are things I discussed with my buddy last week, so he could stop thinking just because you're getting older, and still single, it's dooms day forever. I was trying to point out to him that the married route may not always wound up as secure in the long run as he thinks. But he said something that made me think. He said them places have to many ambulances running in and out of them. I told him senior living doesn't mean a nursing home. I don't know if senior living was "in fact" what he was talking about anyway. The style he talks, it's hard to tell sometimes. Anyway, it still gave me something to think about. I guess everybody would rather be married by the time they reached their middle-age and beyond, including myself. But when I see the big picture, I'm not depressed about it at all. I may be wrong for saying this, but the older I get, the more I'm glad I never got married. Maybe it's because this is America, and it's flawed system.