Are you prepared for caregiving costs? The cost of providing care for yourself can be quite staggering but what many people don’t include in their financial planning is the cost of providing care for family members other than a spouse. A survey by Caring.com found that almost half of all caregivers shell out $5,000 a year for medications, medical bills, in-home care or other costs associated with a loved one’s care. The survey also found that about 7 percent of caregivers were shelling out $50,000 a year.
Those costs can include insurance premiums and fees not covered by insurance such as high deductibles, co-pays, dental care and hearing aids. According to a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, in the last five years of life, Medicare recipients paid an average of nearly $40,000 during the time-frame from 2002-2008 for out-of-pocket medical costs.
The Caring.com survey found that half of users say they spend $500 or more on pharmacies. Other costs such as communal living and in-home care costs can also bust the budgets of family members. This is one example of how not having a family meeting to discuss these issues can bite you over time.
Yet another reason to have that conversation is that adult children are often unaware that their family members have access to resources that could provide relief from cutting into their own assets to pay for care. Geriatric managers, Elder Law Attorneys, and Financial Planners provide professional experience to help you navigate retirement planning. Their experience can help save time and cut costs. Just for starters, they’ll know options for paying for and providing care and tax breaks caregivers are eligible for. Beyond that, they can help diffuse family situations so that the family can concentrate on the loved one.
And finally, when caregivers concentrate solely on their loved ones, they often neglect their own life, often sacrificing their own retirement benefits and healthcare to their own detriment in order to provide for someone else.