ACCC shares the important facts consumers must know about caregiving
Boston, MA – August 16, 2018
Caregiving is a reality for many families across the country, whether it’s paying for parents’ medical tests, helping out relatives, or caring for sick loved ones. Not only can it become time consuming, it can upend lives and potentially ruin retirement savings. To help consumers plan ahead, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling explains how to curb the expenses that come along with caregiving.
“Whether or not you have money saved for future caregiving needs, it is important to have a plan in place – particularly due to the unpredictability and costs associated with long-term care,” said Steve Trumble, President, and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “By getting the right information from family members, doctors, lawyers, service providers, and service communities, you can prepare yourself and your family for the expenses that come with caregiving.”
According to a study by Barron’s, about 70 percent of today’s 65-year-olds will need extended assistance. The study also noted that about half of long-term care costs are not covered by Medicare or insurance and must be paid out of pocket. A study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that 17 percent of adult children end up providing care for their parents at some point in their lives at an average of 77 hours per month. The Alzheimer’s Association found that caregivers lose on average more than $15,000 in annual income due to the cost of care.
ACCC provides tips for consumers looking to effectively prepare for caregiving:
- Understand the unpredictability and make a plan – Many people underestimate how long their family member or friend will need help. It is important to understand that caregiving may be needed for a long period of time, so ensure that there is enough money set aside to pay for these services. Sit down with those connected to the individual in need of care in order to analyze the costs.
- Extend the conversation to outside available resources – It is important to ask for advice from human and financial resources. Get recommendations from doctors and lawyers for any service providers and senior communities that are in budget and highly regarded. Find faith-based or community resources that can assist with transportation or companion care needs, and gauge which neighbors, family, or friends can be called on in a crisis.
- Research facilities and long-term insurance early – Looking at facilities early is necessary because most have waiting lists, and no one should make a housing decision under duress. It is important to look into insurance plans before they are needed in order to find a long-term solution that covers certified nursing assistants, assisted living, and adult day care.
- Acknowledge that hiring an outside caregiver may be the best option – Most people begin looking for a caregiver or assume the role of one after a medical emergency. Even though becoming a caregiver may seem like a cheaper alternative, more often than not, this is not the case. This is due to the fact that people are often forced to quit their jobs, usually during their peak earnings period – affecting not just their income and career trajectories, but also future Social Security benefits. It is recommended to scale back hours or take a more flexible position if necessary, even if all earnings go toward hired care.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
- For credit counseling, and student loan counseling call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit https://www.consumercredit.com/debt-resources-tools/