The question is impertinent, yet unfortunately common. Aren't you worried about who will look after you when you're old?
As someone who elected not to have children, it appears those who did are sorted in this regard because they are the ones usually asking the question. Or at least those who have procreated delude themselves into believing their children will delight in their dotage, that those whose bums they wiped will be willing and able to repay the compliment.
Let me diffuse this argument with a dose of statistical reality. Only 8.2 per cent per cent of those 65 and over live with a relative who is not their spouse.
Based on population projections, there will be 9.6 million people aged 65 and over and 1.9 million people aged 85 and over by 2064.
This means there will be a hell of a lot of elderly people who believe their children will be there, but who will find they are just not, when their circle of life reaches its final bend.
So, when I am faced with the assumption I will be a hairy-chinned cat lady cursing my barren womb in my lonely latter years, I am quite smug in my response. Because I reckon I am the one with the ideal master plan.
Instead of depending on children to take on such an adult responsibility as parenting their parents, I still hope to be acting like a child myself. I want to age as disgracefully as I can and so, shall seek similarly infantile and unruly company – my best mates.
I have made a deal with some of my nearest, dearest and silliest to see out our withering, dithering years together. We are planning on a Best Exotic Marigold Hotel experience, only on a large property, hopefully near water, bought with our pooled assets.
It will consist of a central pavilion with kitchen and entertainment options where we can meet when and if we want to. Each of us will have our own eco shack dotted throughout the compound that can be accessed by golf carts and/or wheelchairs should the hips slip.
I have a wonderful mental picture of me on said golf cart dodging romping puppies and furtive felines through verdant rainforest to beat my mate Phil to the bar at sunset. I look forward to gardening with my green-thumbed comrade Geoffrey and having Playstation duels with ever-competitive Bev.
While we similar souls have been talking about our retirement plans for years, it appears some French women have jumped the gun on us and made theirs a reality. In Montreuil, on the east side of Paris, is Babayagas House, a self-managed social housing project devised and run by a community of dynamic female senior citizens who want to keep their independence, but live communally.
The name is taken from Slavic mythology, meaning witch (I trust the Babayagas are taking back the word – as they should – from the crone image to the power source it was originally intended).
Thérèse Clerc, a very cool 85-year-old, dreamt up the project more than 15 years ago. "To live long is a good thing but to age well is better," she explains of the five-storey building in central Montreuil. "Growing old is not an illness. We want to change the way people see old age and that means learning to live differently."
It makes sense that it shouldn't just take a village to raise a child but also to tend to the elderly as age wins the battle of mortality. I want my village to be full of love, laughter and as much independence as possible so the young can get on with their lives.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.