$3 Trillion in Lost Benefits Suffered by Caregivers

July 27, 2011
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A new Met Life study shows that almost 10 million adults over the age of 50 are becoming caregivers for their own parents, resulting in a loss of $3 trillion in wages, pension and Social Security benefits for time taken off from work.
The MetLife Mature Market Institute, the National Alliance for Caregiving, and the Center for Long Term Care Research and Policy at New York Medical College analyzed data from the Health and Retirement Study conducted biannually by the University of Michigan and the National Institute on Aging. 
Female caregivers are the hardest hit. 
  • Their average losses are equivalent to a total of $324,044, compared to average losses for men of $283,716.
     
  • Adult caregivers are more likely to suffer from fair to poor health than noncaregivers.
     
  • Caregiving sons and daughters provide parents with comparable care, although daughters are more likely to offer basic care while caregiving men often provide financial assistance.  
And that is the classic model. In my own personal case, my wife and I purchased a condo for my mom to live in when she moved to Florida. That provided her with financial relief for a good five years. Now that her health has worsened she has moved in with my sister who is providing the ADL type of care. Thankfully she is retired so the economic impact has not been as bad. But her health and emotional well being has suffered as a result.

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