An exciting article about family caregivers from Benefits Pro by Marlene Y. Satter

It’s not just the late hours, the extra work or the emotional strain. Family caregivers are paying a big price to take care of loved ones who can’t adequately care for themselves, and part of the cost could be their retirement.

According to a new report from AARP, 78 percent of caregivers are incurring out-of-pocket costs as a result of caregiving. The 2016 report  “Family Caregivers Cost Survey: What They Spend and What They Sacrifice” estimates that on average, family caregivers are spending roughly $7,000 per year ($6,954) on out-of-pocket costs related to caregiving in 2016.

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If that statistic isn’t depressing enough, the report’s financial strain measure, consisting of annual caregiver expense divided by their annual income, shows that caregivers are spending, on average, nearly 20 percent of their income on caregiving activities.

Considering that, it should come as no surprise that many family caregivers have to cut back on other spending, “which can undermine the family caregiver’s future financial security,” the study said.

Sixteen percent have reduced contributions to their retirement savings, and approximately half have cut back on leisure spending (45 percent said they’ve cut down on eating out or vacations because of caregiving expenses).

So where and how are they spending this money?

Household expenses account for the lion’s share of family caregivers’ out-of-pocket spending, eating up 41 percent of it.

This can encompass everything from rent/mortgage payments to home modifications and other household expenses.

Medical expenses make up the second largest chunk, eating up 25 percent of caregivers’ spending on such items as assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, insurance costs and other medical expenses.

And while long-distance caregivers (defined as family caregivers living more than one hour from the care recipient) paid the highest out-of-pocket costs ($11,923), it was no bargain for caregivers living with their care recipient, who also incurred high costs ($8,616).

And if the recipient is older (more than 50 years old) or has dementia, their caregiver will be paying more, too: costs of $7,064 for a recipient older than 50, compared with $5,721 for one younger than the half-century mark, and costs of $10,697 for a recipient with dementia, compared with costs of $5,758 for adults who do not have dementia.

See the original article Here.


Satter, M. (2016 November 14). Family caregivers pay hefty price to care for loved ones [Web blog post]. Retrieved from address