The Financial Side of Caregiving

Mature Woman Helping Senior Neighbor With Home Finances

The financial impact of caregiving can be immense. The National Resource Center on Women and Retirement Planning offers some insight. According to their research, caregivers lose an average of $300,000 as a result of reduced wages, adjustments in work schedules, and out-of-pocket costs.  

The following are some tips to consider to help alleviate the financial burden:

  1. Family Financial Planning
    • Talk to siblings and family members about the potential costs of caring for a loved one
    • Keep in mind that outside resources may need to be hired
    • Have the family hire you as an independent contractor with appropriate legal agreements
  2. Current Job vs. Part-time Work
    • Assess the benefits your current job offers
    • Review the costs for health and disability insurance
  3. Worried Senior Couple Using Laptop At Home

    Creating a Household Budget

    • Track your spending
    • Compare monthly expenses to income
    • Create a budget
  4. Saving for Retirement
    • Know what you will collect from Social Security
    • Calculate pensions, other savings like a 401(k), and part-time work
  5. Financial Help for Older Adults
    • Know healthcare costs, including drug plans and Medigap insurance—seniors with low incomes may be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid
    • Assess if a reverse mortgage is a good choice for your senior
    • Immediate annuities are an option if a senior’s savings runs out
  6. Legal and Financial Documents
    • Have a durable and healthcare Power of Attorney
    • Have a Last Will and Testament
    • Make sure other important documents are in place—medical records, birth certificate, deeds, titles, tax records, etc.
  7. Elder Financial Fraud and Abuse
    • Be aware of theft and scams geared towards seniors
    • Remember that family members account for a good portion of perpetrators of fraud and abuse towards seniors
  8. End-of-Life Planning
    • Know where the senior wants to die
    • Know the medical treatment they want to receive
    • Know the type of funeral services they prefer

For additional resources, this information can be found on www.wiserwomen.org.