Cost of Caretaking: ACCC Survey Finds Nearly 6 out of 10 Financially Support Their Parents or Adult Child
National financial literacy nonprofit survey finds that many middle-aged consumers are footing the bill for their recent college grads and setting aside their finances for aging parents.
(Boston, MA) – August 13, 2014 — According to a recent survey by national financial education nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling, nearly sixty percent of Americans are providing some form of financial support to either their elder parents or young adult children by means of housing, living expenses, and transportation.
These results come on the heels of a recent report detailing a three-fold increase in the number of adults taking care of aging parents over the past 15 years; a similar online poll by ForbesWoman and the National Endowment for Financial Education shows that 59 percent of parents provide support to their adult children who are no longer in school.
“In today’s economy, many middle-aged consumers are getting hit twice as hard when it comes to financially supporting family members,” said Steven Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Amid rising college tuition costs and the sharp increase in elder care services, some consumers are forced to make tough financial decisions and delay their own financial goals.”
For the 56 percent of consumers indicating they play a financially supportive role in their loved one’s life, nearly 20 percent stated they are unable to pay off their debts or are accruing more debt because of it and 12 percent have delayed retirement.
“Whether it’s an aging parent or a child returning from college, the expenses can hit hard and have a long-term effect on your own financial situation,” said Trumble. “By working together to determine a financial plan that works for everyone, consumers can help prevent future financial damage while also providing their loved ones with the short-term support they need.”
The results from the ACCC survey supports a poll released by Caregiver Action Network that shows the average family caregiver for someone 50 years or older spends $5,531 per year on out-of-pocket caregiving expenses. On average,e $303,880 is lost in lifetime wages and retirement benefits should a child opt to serve in the caregiving role.
According to the ACCC survey, 81 percent of those supporting aging parents and 59 percent of those assisting adult children indicated they help financially with living expenses and bills, while very few cited support for paying credit card debt.
When it comes to student loans, nearly 25 percent of parents are financially contributing to their child’s college debt. However, according to one recent poll by Sallie Mae, 85 percent of parents plan to offer their children monetary aid after graduation and a third of parents plan to provide their grad with financial assistance for up to six months, while 50 percent of parents plan to foot the bill anywhere from six months to more than five years.
“With the average college graduate taking on nearly $30,000 in student debt, it's no wonder they are returning home to save on expenses,” said Trumble. “Although they may not be able to contribute financially, there are other ways that these young adults can help out mom and dad such as assisting in household chores or even preparing dinner.”
The caregiver survey is the most recent in a series of online polls asking consumers about timely topics related to money management, budgeting, identity theft, and spending habits. See the full results and get access to an infographic detailing the highlights of the survey.
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, 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 and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. Each month, ACCC invites consumers to participate in a poll focused on personal finance issues. The results are conveyed in the form of infographics that act as tools to educate the community on everyday personal finance issues and problems. By learning more about financial management topics such as credit and debt management, consumers are empowered to make the best possible financial decisions to reach debt relief. As one of the nation’s leading providers of personal finance education and credit counseling services, ACCC’s certified credit advisors work with consumers to help determine the best possible debt solutions for them. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. To participate in this month’s poll, visit ConsumerCredit.com and for more financial management resources visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.