This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

July 20, 2011

Working Caregivers Lose a Lot

Typically, people lose a considerable amount of money when they take time from their jobs to care for their aging parents; they also spend a great deal of their own funds to do so. According to a recent study from The MetLife Mature Market Institute, the 10 million employed caregivers in the United States together lose an estimated $3 trillion. Employees would have received these funds in the form of wages, pensions, and social security benefits over a lifetime; the average losses are $304,000 per person.

Produced in conjunction with the National Alliance for Caregiving and the Center for Long Term Care Research and Policy at New York Medical College, "The MetLife Study of Caregiving Costs to Working Caregivers," reported the percentage of adults providing care to adults over 50 has tripled since 1994.

This statistic was released in the publication, "Planning Tips: Financial Considerations for Family Caregivers," to help the many Americans who lose a considerable amount of money when they take time from their jobs to care for their aging parents. In addition, they spend a good deal of their own funds to do so.

At the same time, MetLife offered tips and tactics for to provide solutions for the legions of dedicated caregivers; some of them appear below:

  • Think twice about leaving your job to provide care, as it will affect your lifetime wealth and future employment prospects
  • Check with your employer to determine what benefits are offered, and how you would replace them, if you left
  • Take stock of what you have and your expenses for caregiving
  • Calculate what it would cost to keep your loved one at home.

With government support for healthcare waning and individual healthcare costs increasing, caregivers in the US and elsewhere will feel squeezed. If the caregivers are talented enough, employers will take extraordinary steps to keep them onboard. However, as we have reported in the past, this stress of juggling caregiving with working will no doubt take a greater and greater toll. Wise employers will reach out to their caregivers and find ways to provide this much-needed support.

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