The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about the increasing cost of caring for elderly family. The article* can be found Here. According to a U.S. Health and Retirement Study, “the percentage of adult children taking care of their parents has tripled since 1994, with nearly 10 million people who are 50 and older doing so in 2008.” The article addresses is the financial toll on care providers which averages $303,880 per person (age 50 or older) in lost wages, pensions and Social Security benefits over their lifetime due to leaving the work force early to care for a parent. But more importantly, the article sheds light on some of the hidden non-monetary stresses associated with this type of care giving. The U.S. Health and Retirement Study called for more services to assist caregivers as the number of caregivers in this category is only expected to rise.
The article is an important reminder that careful planning goes beyond having a will and protecting assets. At Bloomgren Hanson Legal, we encourage our clients to use their conversations with family about estate planning as an opportunity to also discuss the broader issues associated with aging and end of life planning.
*A thank you to Attorney Nick Halbur for bringing our attention to the article.