MetLife Study Measures Impact of Family Caregiving
Recent numbers show just how severe the financial toll of caregiving really is on Americans. A study conducted by MetLife focuses on adult children who both work and provide care to their elderly parents and how the role of caregiver affects their earnings over time.
The study, titled “Double Jeopardy for Baby Boomers Caring for Their Parents” breaks down the hours and wages lost from regular jobs due to the responsibilities of caregiving. To gather information, researchers analyzed data from the 2008 panel of the National Health and Retirement Study in context of recent estimates regarding the number of hours adult children care for their parents, how gender affects the caregiving roles, and the potential cost to the caregiver in terms of lost wages.
After sorting through the various data and information, it became clear that this was no small impact. The total individual amount of lost wages was calculated taking into account the combination of these four factors: reduced hours, leaving the labor force early, lost Social Security benefits, and a “conservative estimate of the impact on pensions at $50,000”.
The total individual amount lost equals $303,880 for the average male or female caregiver aged 50 and above who provides care for a parent.
Family Caregivers in the US
Family caregivers provide the majority of long term care in the United States, something that many people and organizations are looking to change. According to the AARP, family caregivers provide an estimated $450 billion in unpaid care every year. Approximately $216 billion of this care is provided to patients with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, according to the national Alzheimer’s Association.
Many people are unaware of the risk that long term care poses, and in turn, fail to plan accordingly. Government estimates place the risk at about 50% for all Americans, and that chance jumps to 70% when you reach age 65. The high risk is one thing some people choose to ignore out of denial. Most of us don’t like to think about the fact that we are aging and may some day need help performing basic daily tasks like eating, bathing, and dressing. It is a tough thought, but ignoring the risk can have significant effects down the road, as this recent MetLife study found. Too often, family members are forced to step up to the plate and take care of their loved ones, regardless of if they have children, a job, or other obligations of their own.
Make a Plan
Long term care insurance can help you prepare for the worst and put a place in plan. That way, if anything ever happens – be it a bad fall, an illness, or a diagnosis of dementia – you will have coverage to help you cover the cost and reduce the associated stress for both you and your family. If you have hard earned savings stored away for retirement, long term care can quickly reduce them to nothing, sometimes in just a couple years. Only about 10% of seniors today have long term care insurance, but many more than that will need care.
If you are interested in learning more about long term care insurance, read more about the risk or request free information and quotes today. We will send you a comparison of the top companies for you to review on your own time, so you know that you are making the most educated, informed decision possible.