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According to research by LIMRA (previously the Life Insurance Research and Marketing Association), over 43 million Americans are currently acting as unpaid caregivers for a family member.  Although we’re living longer, many older Americans often need caregiving help – and frequently it falls on the family to provide that assistance.

LIMRA wanted to understand how caregiving for a family member impacted their family’s finances.  Aside from the out-of-pocket costs associated with caring for a loved one (which AARP estimates is almost $7,000 annually), there is often a high opportunity cost for those caregivers.  A recent research study estimated that at least 50% of caregivers work full-time outside of the home, and for many of them, the demands of caring for a loved one often negatively impact their careers.

The study found that 40% of caregivers either took unpaid leaves of absence or decreased the number of hours they worked and the income they earned.  30% of caregivers reported that they turned down a promotion.  And 25% of caregivers said that they lost job benefits such as medical, retirement, insurance, etc. after they cut back their hours due to their caregiving responsibilities.

In addition, a significant percentage of caregivers indicated that they ultimately had to stop working:

  • 22% voluntarily quit
  • 18% had their employment terminated
  • 13% retired early

Had those family members planned ahead and put a long term care plan in place, the financial and emotional toll on family caregivers could have been dramatically reduced.  You can help break this cycle of negative impact to caregivers by  looking into long term care protection.  With more than 10,000 Americans turning 65 each day, the number of families facing the financial challenges associated with providing care to an older family member is certain to grow in the coming years.  A long term care insurance policy can dramatically reduce the financial impact of needing care, without placing the responsibility for care on other family members.