Open Accessibility Menu

Have You Thought Much About Your Retirement After Being a Family Caregiver?

It's easy to focus your attention on providing the care your mom and dad need. Some people become so involved in that care that they lose track of the future. Have you considered what you're forgoing to provide that care? What will happen during your own retirement?

The average Social Security benefit is just over $1,400. When you factor in the cost of health insurance, food, utilities, and taxes, that $1,400 isn't going to go far. That's why people need to have a retirement savings plan as a backup.

If you have quit a job or switched to part-time while caring for your parent, you've likely stopped building or haven't started saving for your retirement. Almost a quarter of all family caregivers provide at least five years of care. About 15 percent provide care for at least 10 years. That's a lot of time to spend not saving for retirement.

Don't Drop Everything Until You Consider These Factors

When you're providing care to a parent, it's going to cut into your personal time. Appointments and emergencies may also cut into your work schedule. Those missed hours could eat into your personal and vacation time. You may have to switch from full-time to part-time. The loss of income can be detrimental if you need the money for bills.

Besides, reducing hours may cause you to lose benefits. You may no longer qualify for health and dental insurance coverage. You have to decide if this is feasible given your situation.

You also have to look at how long you'll be caring for your parent. Per the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, people who are caring for a parent with Alzheimer's are more likely to provide family care for 5 years or longer. That's a lot of time to go with reduced pay or a lack of being able to save for retirement.

There's the financial aspect that impacts your retirement. You also need to consider the effect caregiving has on your friendships. Social isolation is detrimental to your health. If you spend so much time caring for your parents that you neglect your friends, you could end up with fewer opportunities to socialize.

Keep Your Job and Hire Caregivers

Hire caregivers to ensure you don't have to stop working or cut your hours. You'll still be able to provide care to your parents on your days off or after work, but you won't be sacrificing your retirement to be with your parents all of the time. Call a home care agency and arrange caregivers today.