Women – the Last Leaf on the Tree

Do you know who will take care of you when you no longer able to take care of yourself? According to this article in Investment News, your caregiver is likely to be a woman, and most likely to be your daughter or daughter-in-law. What this means is that unless you have a plan for your future long term care, the financial burden of caring for you will fall to a woman in your family.

“Financial burden” refers not just to the expense of paying for food and medical costs, but to loss of income incurred over years of care-giving. “Women take time away from their careers to care for family members,” writes George I. Connolly, “andlose an average of $659,130 over a lifetime in reduced salary and retirement benefits.”

If you are thinking that you have government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid (or Medi-Cal in California) to fall back on, you may want to think again. Relying on government cheese can leave your family footing just as much of the bill as they would without them. Instead, consider investing in long-term-care insurance. Long-term care insurance can provide you with more flexible and comprehensive coverage than government programs, save you and your family much time and money, and give you more options. But you have to plan for it now.

If you are a daughter of aging parents, now is the time to talk to your parents about the future. Studies show that you are the one who is likely to shoulder the responsibility of caring for them as they age. Doing so will affect not only your family, but also your career, your finances, and even your health.

The subject of aging and elder care is a difficult but important one, and not one to be left to the last minute. Talk to your family about your wishes and plans for the future. Once you have an idea of your wishes, we can help you sort through the options and make  you feel better about your options, and put you on the right path for keeping your family healthy, happy, and financially secure in the years to come.