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How much does caring for a loved one cost?

How much does caring for a loved one cost?

May 08, 2018

 Nearly 1/2 of all Americans have had the experience of providing care for a spouse or parent, or they believe they will end up in this role in the future. According to a recent Northwestern Mutual C.A.R.E. Study released in March, nearly 2/3 of those that are in the caregiver category have seen an impact to their own personal financial situation as they try to help a loved one.

The average cost to the person providing care as they consider the combined cost of medicine, medical supplies and food they provide averages in excess of $800 per month, or $10,000 per year. Most people are not in the situation of having this much excess or discretionary income. Therefore it is putting a crimp on their own ability to provide for their future retirement needs.

We are also watching this have an impact on the caregivers career, as nearly one out of five have reported having to reduce the hours they work, and another one out of five have had to alter their work schedules in order to provide the care their spouse or parent needs.

While these numbers are focused primarily on the financial aspects of caregiving, there is also another looming issue in the process-caregiver burnout. As people try to juggle their own work, family and financial lives, the stress and additional hours worked providing care for a loved one is causing not only financial, but physical and health stress on the one providing the care. 

Unfortunately, nearly 30% of those acting as caregivers are doing so because there was no other option to help a loved one. However, it should be noted that if a sponge is constantly wrung dry and never has time to reabsorb, it eventually dries out and becomes brittle and useless. The same can be said for caregivers who do not have time to care for themselves and their own health and well-being.

We are acutely aware of these issues that today's Baby Boomer and Sandwich generations are facing as they try to get their kids out of the house and self-sufficient, prepare for their own retirement, AND deal with the pressures of aging parents or spouses. If you are struggling through one of these issues, please do not hesitate to talk to us about how you can best manage these issues for the benefit of you and those you love.