Brandon Moss is a 36-year-old financial advisor whose mother-in-law moved into a retirement community this year. Although her daily living expenses are covered, Moss and his wife, Shelby, are paying for her cell phone, car repairs and other incidentals while hoping she doesn’t fall ill.
“If she does, we will probably end up paying for an assisted-living facility out of pocket,” Moss told Financial Advisor.
Moss is among the 62% of caregivers between the ages of 25 and 54 and among the 52% tending to a parent in need of care, according to a Genworth study called “Beyond the Dollar.”
Moss, who works as a financial advisor with United Capital Financial Life Management in Dallas, is preparing for the worst, hoping for the best and helping his young adult child clients do the same.
“As a generation, we are beginning to understand that longevity means our parents will likely still be alive as we age and that they will need our help,” he said.
Although it’s too late to purchase long-term-care insurance for his wife’s mother, Moss is exploring it for his own parents in order to ease the burden of having to care for two sets of aging loved ones. He advises his millennial and Gen X clients to do the same.
“You grow up thinking your parents are invincible and that nothing will happen to them and then these changes start happening and fast,” Moss said.
Younger caregivers are no doubt filling a much-needed gap, but they are also drawing on earnings and resources, which could be detrimental to their own retirement. Some 62% are paying for care with their own savings/retirement funds and 38% are reducing contributions to their savings and retirement accounts, according to the Genworth study.
“You cannot allow your clients to forgo retirement savings to take care of someone else because there’s a good chance that there won’t be a family member there to care for the caregiver in 14 years,” said Jamie Hopkins, associate director of the Retirement Income Program at the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa.
That’s because the availability of family caregivers is expected to vanish over time.