Aging Options

Planning for the cost of caring for parents

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It costs a lot to have an uncovered medical expense but the expenses aren’t limited to only the individual that suffered the event. 

What doesn’t get figured into most people’s lists of expenses is the expense of being the caregiver.  A MetLife study found that the costs can add up to an average of $324,044 in lifetime wages, pension and Social Security benefits for women.  Men lose an average of $283,716.  The costs are likely to trickle down as baby boomers making costly sacrifices that affect their bottom line are less likely to be able to afford their long term care which is likely to impact their children.

Nearly 10 million adult children care for their aging parents.  With so many baby boomers filling the role for caregiver now and presumably in the future, experts are recommending that people start planning for that time before they become caregivers.  Here are some other suggestions Market Watch makes for early planning and a list of questions a bunch of CPAs put together for adult children to ask their parents.

MSN Money also advises that potential caregivers start researching resources now so that they’ll be more prepared in the future. 

One solution that the English are bandying around is putting a cost cap on care.  It’s probably not the ideal solution for Americans especially as we bristle at any sort of suggestion that comes off like socialism but bravo to the English for being brave enough to stick their toe in the shark infected water.

One reason I bring the English solution up at all is that just about every country in the world and especially every first world country has the same issues—an aging population and the high cost of caring for them.  If there is a better time than now to put away our pride and look to the answers on someone else’s paper I don’t know when.  We don’t keep reinventing the wheel just because it wasn’t created in America; it’s time to begin a global search for some answers.  Until then, it’s probably time you had a conversation with your parents about long term care insurance, reverse mortgages and whether or not it would be convenient to move them in with you.  Good luck.  Contact me at and let me know how it goes.  I’ve got to do the same.

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