There is a looming caregiving gap for retirees, and there may not be enough caregivers for them all, says an article from Forbes, “As Baby Boomers Move Into Old Age, Who Will Care For Us?”. There is an estimated 117 million Americans that will need assistance of some sort by 2020 and only an estimate of 45 million unpaid caregivers expected to be available. The ratio of potential family members who could care for the aging is only projected to decline steeply by mid-century.
You may be wondering what happened to cause this gap to increase. Several things can be attributed: families being spread out geographically, the decline in birthrates, more women in the workforce, and the projected increase in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Not only is this gap going to be felt by retirees, but also by the marketplace. Family caregivers “provide an estimated $500 billion worth of free care annually”, and since the number of caregivers is expected to decrease, there will be an increase of expense to the market. Additionally, the number of elderly folks without children is anticipated to double by 2040, meaning institutions will be left to care for these adults.
So, how can you address how this might affect you? Plan. You may need to consider hiring a paid caregiver when you reach a certain point in aging. Or you will need to look into other paid care options. Yet, it is paying for this care that will be the key element. You will want to factor extra savings in your retirement in order to cover paying for care assistance.
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Reference: Forbes (August 10, 2018) “As Baby Boomers Move Into Old Age, Who Will Care For Us?”