Let’s see. Where did we leave things?
Oh, yes! In our last piece, we talked about your options for Long-Term Care Insurance and the importance of protecting yourself and your loved ones from the burden of long-term care.
Now, let’s talk about the issues surrounding being the caregiver and ways you can discuss options with a loved one.
The vast majority of millennials have boomer parents, who have an average of only $147,000 in retirement savings. Even though millennials generally are better at saving for retirement than their predecessors, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security, the majority of working Americans have no retirement savings at all. For all the ink spilled between the 2008 recession and now about millennials living at home, in the coming years, it’s millennials who will be helping to care for and support their parents as they age. (The Washington Post)
As our parents age and some of us decide to have children later in life, more and more women are finding themselves part of the “sandwich generation” of caregivers: caring for parents and children at the same time.
This isn’t something to be taken lightly. “Overall, caregivers who experience the greatest emotional stress tend to be female. They are at risk for high levels of stress, frustration, anxiety, exhaustion and anger, depression, increased use of alcohol or other substances, reduced immune response, poor physical health and more chronic conditions, neglecting their own care and have higher mortality rates compared to non-caregivers.” (Source)
It’s important to start this discussion early and know your loved one’s plans for aging; listen to their wishes and reassure them that you are determined to make sure their requests are followed. You don’t want to wait until cognitive decline is present to find out what kind of care they would like (such as in-home care or a facility if that’s an option).
Something else that’s crucial is planning while they are still healthy enough to qualify for coverage and when you begin the discussion, it’s also important to be ready with their options. Before you start the conversation, learn the basics so you are all well informed. (CLICK HERE [link to previous blog] for your options.)
And don’t go it alone if you don’t have to. If you have siblings, have a discussion, and make a plan for how parental care will be shared. Care disproportionately falls on women, and often only on one child. Being clear that parents will be everybody’s responsibility ahead of time can help alleviate misunderstandings and resentment later. One child may not be able to help with day-to-day care because of geographical restrictions, but perhaps that person can financially contribute to caregiver assistance to help the main caregiver.
If you find yourself unsure of how to move forward with your own planning or planning for a loved one, let’s talk about it. We can discuss:
Most importantly, I can help you look at how having Long-Term Care Insurance will affect your overall financial plan, as well as the financial future of a loved one.
Aging is something that most of us will experience if we’re lucky – that’s not a choice. But we DO have choices regarding how we go about it. As with most elements of planning your financial future, it requires knowing your options and creating a plan that fits your specific lifestyle.
CLICK HERE to let me know how I can help.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.