The Magic Word is “CARE”
Webster’s Dictionary describes “care” as a noun signifying; “serious attention or consideration applied to doing something correctly or to avoid damage or risk.”
As a verb it states; “to look after and provide for the needs of.”
It dawned on me that caring about something meant thinking about it in a personal way. I mean, how do you know you care, if you haven’t spent much time thinking about it? I’m sure it’s all relative, but certainly when we identify a month for “Awareness”, we’re saying… “Hey…pay attention…care about this.”
November is “National Family Care Givers Awareness Month”. A time to pay tribute to caregivers and those who are otherwise managing personal and/or professional challenges related to their activities in support of those unable to adequately provide for themselves.
Is that enough for people to care? Here are some statistics.
- The value of the services family caregivers provide for "free," when caring for older adults, is estimated to be $375 billion a year.
- More than 29% of the U.S. population, (65 million people) provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one.
- The typical family caregiver is a 49-year-old woman caring for her widowed 69-year-old mother who does not live with her. She is married and employed.
- Approximately 66% of family caregivers are women. More than 37% have children or grandchildren under 18 years old living with them.
- Family caregivers are the foundation of long-term care nationwide, exceeding Medicaid long-term care spending in all states.
- 47% of working caregivers indicate the increase in expenses has caused them to use up ALL or MOST of their savings.
Statistics provided by: Non-Profit - Caregiver Action Network – “Caregiving Population”
We can’t wait to care as time is not on our side.
Nor can we wait on external intervention because the human toll combined with the financial risk is too high to ignore. Even though the number of family caregivers is many times that of those afflicted, we know it’s likely we will eventually be either a caregiver (to someone we love) or need a caregiver ourselves. I recently wrote:
“Unfortunately, when you calculate the cost of the implications (for caregivers), the road to redemption becomes almost non-negotiable and renders many well-meaning, hardworking families with untenable challenges. In many cases, the life savings of these extraordinary selfless individuals become subject to unthinkable consequences as a result.”
I advise my clients to take an educated and sober look at Long -Term Care (LTC) insurance now. Will you or your family be susceptible to the statistics? Industry and consumer advocates for fair and reasonable LTC instruments are working hard to provide consumers with options to address this crisis but there’s more work to do. In the meantime, individuals must be proactive to protect themselves and family members from circumstances that are likely to be an issue as they age.
Start with Linking to AARP’s Long-Term Care Calculator below as a first step. Then talk to a certified financial planner who will take the time to understand your circumstances and develop a few options for your review. The goal is to help you discover smart “care” options now and establish great care when you need it most.
It’s your life…plan for it.
Eric D. Bailey
Founder, Bailey Wealth Advisors
Eric Bailey is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors.
Securities and advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (Member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. Bailey Wealth Advisors is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors.