Many working age women (and men) – and quite a few of our clients – are caring for aging parents.
That’s a difficult and often exhausting job.
A recent New York Times article on the reality of caregiving (“Why Aren’t More Women Working? They’re Caring for Parents”) showed how women caregivers are often forced to drop out of the workforce, or scale back to part-time work, as they juggle taking care of parents, home, kids and work.
And they are not the only ones affected. The cost to society is high.
Many boomers feel caring for parents is their responsibility. But there are serious financial consequences.
By missing out on time in the workforce (especially for women), caregivers risk under-funding their own retirement, setting them up for their own financial Armageddon down the road.
In addition, the U.S. economy is weakened as skilled workers opt out, with more baby boomers and other middle-age workers cutting back on work to care for parents.
The Takeaway: If you’ve cared for parents or other aging family members, you know what it’s like. While caring for aging relatives can be a meaningful labor of love, it can also be an exhausting, backbreaking experience. One woman interviewed by the New York Times put it this way. “Caregivers are physically and mentally and financially dying. They are a health care crisis in the making.”
What’s the solution? As a caregiver, making sure your family member has all the right legal documents in place, like Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney, and other key arrangements, can make your life much easier. Talk to your loved ones about the legal arrangements aging people need before it’s a full-blown crisis.
Ensuring their financial assets are properly invested and working hard to cover their financial needs can also give you peace of mind. Financial acumen often fades as people age, so make sure your family member is still on the straight-and-narrow and consider getting a helping hand with routine bill-paying and investment management. Experienced professionals are skilled at making your job as a caregiver a little bit easier.