Saving for the purchase of a vehicle, a home, and even college are all common activities among today’s population. Investing in a retirement account is also an activity that holds a high level of importance. Unfortunately, there is one area where we often fall short; that is, planning for the future care of aging loved ones.
Naturally, this lack of planning is not associated with a lack of love or commitment to our older relatives. It is – more or less – the pain and discomfort we experience when we consider the changes that those we love may experience as they grow older. We simply do not want to think about anything happening to those that we love most.
As a result, we mostly do not start any type of planning until there is an actual problem. While financial planning for the development of an illness or limitations of our aging family members may be downright depressing, it is necessary. It is better to prepare for the worst and hope for the best than to be facing the worst absolutely unprepared.
Planning for Future Care of Aging Loved Ones
Start with a Caregiving Plan
The first step to financially planning for an aging loved one is creating a caregiving plan. While you may feel as if you must tiptoe around this, there is no need to feel uncomfortable with the process. We all age and are all faced with a multitude of unexpected events and situations throughout our life. You must simply gather your loved ones to create the caregiving plan. This minimizes any last-minute scrambling and tensions that may arise when your loved one requires specialized care.
This plan will reduce the financial strain that may arise as a result of an aging relative’s needs. A recent study performed by MetLife concluded that the respondents that participated (all active caregivers) experienced an average of $566,000 in losses as a result of not anticipating the consequences that came with their responsibilities as a caregiver. By creating a caregiving plan now, a large portion of the financial losses that may be incurred will be eliminated.
Many families may not feel as if they need to prepare for the costs that may be incurred as a loved one ages. To really put the importance of preparation into light, you should consider today’s statistics.
Numerous studies and a large amount of research has determined that approximately 30 million households throughout the nation are providing direct care for an adult that is – at least – 50 years of age. Over the next two and a half decades, that number is expected to double. There are Americans are young as in their 30s and 40s that find themselves caring for an aging parent, or another aging relative.
In fact, it has been said that the need for caregivers will soon become as common in the nation as the need of child care providers.
Financial planning for the future care of aging loved ones is an absolute necessity. You should start today. Visit us next week as we continue this series.