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Financial Challenges of Unpaid Family Caregivers

Have you taken on the responsibility of caring for a friend or family member’s needs due to sickness or disability? You aren’t alone, as the number of unpaid caregivers in the U.S. is increasing. In fact, approximately 53 million Americans currently provide care to an adult or child with health or functional needs, up from 43 million in 2015.1

With approximately one in six Americans providing some level of family care, unpaid caregiving is becoming common as people live longer. Some facts about unpaid caregivers include:

  • Nearly two-thirds are women
  • The average age is 49.4 years old
  • 61% work full- or part-time in addition to providing care
  • Nearly 30% have been providing care for five years or longer
  • 76% reported living within 20 minutes of their care recipient, while 40% reported living in the same household
  • 53% felt that they had little or no choice in taking on the responsibility of caregiving

Caregivers’ Financial Stressors

While providing care for a loved one can be personally gratifying, the change in circumstances can create significant financial challenges. Nearly 50% of caregivers reported experiencing at least one negative financial impact since becoming a caregiver. Approximately 3 out of 10 caregivers have stopped depositing money into their savings accounts, 25% have taken on more debt, and 1 in 5 reported having unpaid or late bills.

Considerations for Unpaid Caregivers

Airplane flight attendants instruct passengers to put on their own oxygen mask first before helping others. This metaphor also applies to caregivers as your financial stability should come first. Create a budget, maintain an emergency fund, keep contributing to your retirement accounts, and plan now for your own aging, including having a Will in place.

If you are a caregiver or know someone who is, Jemma Financial has experienced Financial Advisors who can help create a plan that incorporates this special situation.

1 2020 Report by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP)

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