The Cost of Caregiving and Long-term Care Insurance

The MetLife Mature Market Institute published a study in June, concerning the cost to employees to care for their aging parents. The results are alarming. Here are a few of their findings

 

• Nearly 10 million adult children over the age of 50 care for aging parents.
• The percentage of adults providing care for a parent has tripled since 1994.
• The average total cost to a working woman to care for her parents is $324,044.
• The average total cost to a working man to care for his parents is $283,716.
• Adult children age 50+ who work and provide care for a parent are more likely than who do
not provide care, to report their health is fair or poor.

 

How can long-term care insurance help? By providing the financial support to help pay for care giving, allowing the adult child to remain productive at work and at home. Long-term care insurance will not replace the need for the adult child to be with his/her parent. But it enhances the quality of time spent so the child can be with the parent, enjoying the time, rather than always be hurriedly doing things for them.

 

What if the parents do not have the resources to pay for insurance; should the adult child buy a policy for them? If the adult child, or the adult children, have the financial resources, it is worth considering. Long-term care insurance eases the decision making process, particularly when the children have differing opinions. Having the insurance policy pay for care is certainly easier than deciding which family member will give the lion’s share of money and time to care for their parents.

 

Today a couple asked me if I thought it was worth it to keep their long-term care insurance policy. My answer, “YES!” It is a gift to each other, and to their children, in the event one of them needs care.

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