For some time, the term "sandwich generation" has been a phrase used to define adult children, usually daughters, who must care for their own family along with an elder parent or in-law while also holding a job.
A recent "Daughters in the Workplace" survey from Home Instead Senior Care, the largest worldwide senior care organization, shows the tremendous stress and burden placed on these women.
Being a Caregiver is Not Easy on Families
The findings from the survey of 1,001 working women aged 45 to 60 who are not self-employed and are caregivers for at least one parent and/or in-law in the United States and Canada reveals how difficult it is to be a caregiver and have your own life as well.
The role of being a caregiver is thrust on these women when no advance planning, like Long-Term Care Insurance, is in place. Most of these women were never trained or prepared for a physically and emotionally demanding job.
Here are some of the highlights of the survey:
- 91 percent of the women surveyed have had to take some action to accommodate being both a caregiver and an employee
- 50 percent sometimes feel like they have to choose between being a good employee and being a good daughter
- 25 percent say that at their employer, there is a stigma attached to taking time off to care for a parent or parent-in-law
- 23 percent say their supervisor is unsympathetic when it comes to their balancing work and caregiver responsibilities
- 13 percent have been passed over for a promotion or raise, or have been penalized at work due to caregiving
- 9 percent say their jobs are currently at risk due to their caregiving responsibilities
These caregivers in the workplace report spending an average of 13.8 hours weekly caregiving and have been caregivers for six years, on average. The average caregiver daughter uses 29 percent of her paid time off to meet her caregiving responsibilities.
With this large amount of pressure placed on the family, it is hard to imagine anyone wanting to put this same burden on their family in the decades ahead.
Caregiving is difficult for family members. The fact is long-term care is challenging. An affordable plan to address long-term health care is easy. So, the question has to be, what, if anything, have you done to reduce the financial costs and burdens of aging on your family?
LTC Insurance is an Affordable Solution for American Families
Long-Term Care Insurance is an affordable way to safeguard your future retirement savings while providing guaranteed tax-free benefits that fund your choice of quality care services while reducing the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on those you love. When you own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, you own a solution so your loved ones will not have to juggle your caregiving needs with their career and family responsibilities.
Simply put, your loved ones will have the time to be family instead of having to be your caregivers. Policies have many benefits and options, in addition to the tax-free funds that pay for your choice of care.
But is Long-Term Care Insurance expensive? Some articles suggest LTC Insurance is costly. The truth is these plans are very affordable, especially at the ages most people are adding them to their retirement plan.
First, you need to find a specialist in long-term health care planning. Very few exist nationwide. The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance suggests seeking the help of a specialist who represents multiple insurance companies.
When you speak with an agent or advisor, ask them if they have processed LTC Insurance claims and have at least 300 clients with Long-Term Care Insurance. Top specialists often have thousands of clients and have helped many clients through the claim's process. You may find the best person is not your local insurance agent or financial advisor.
Second, start planning before you retire, ideally in your 40s or 50s, when you still enjoy reasonably good health. Most people obtain coverage in their 50s.
LTC Insurance is medically underwritten. Every insurance company has its own underwriting criteria. Plus, premiums vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage. Specialists will help you navigate the many options and match you with the company that best fits your age, health, and family history.
You can find a specialist by clicking here.
Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance
Most states participate in the federal/state long-term care partnership program. You get additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection when you own a Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance policy. Ask the specialist about how a partnership policy can greatly benefit your future retirement planning.
There are several other types of policies that exist. Single premium policies with death benefits are also available but make sure the policies meet federal guidelines under Section 7702(b) of federal code.
Policies that meet these guidelines have the required consumer protections and regulated benefit triggers that otherwise would be missing.
Prepare for the Consequences on Your Family and Finances
When planning your retirement, you should consider the consequences of longevity on your family and finances. Aging happens, and our health and bodies decline. As we get older, we also have an increased risk of dementia. The consequences are not only financial, but long-term health care costs are rising rapidly and can be devastating to your income and assets. Yes, long-term health care is a cash flow problem, but think about the emotional toll it will have on your children and their families.
With the advances in medical science, we all live to older ages. This means long-term care will impact you, your family, your savings, and your lifestyle. An affordable Long-Term Care Insurance policy will safeguard your 401(k) IRA 403(b) and other assets and reduce the burden on your loved ones, especially your daughter or daughter-in-law.
Women often become the first caregivers. Women also are more likely to require care as well. Because of their longevity, they live longer and thrive in a caregiving environment longer than men because of their longevity.
Many Long-Term Care Insurance plans have shared spousal benefits so couples can protect themselves from the consequences of aging.
Use LTC NEWS Research Tools
Start your online research by finding the cost of care in your state. Costs are increasing and vary depending on the type of services you need and where you live.
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future cost of long-term health care where you live. Plus, each state has a state-specific page with additional information. Find your location - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.
The LTC NEWS Long-Term Care Planning Guide is also a beneficial resource. Read it by clicking here.
What Can You Depend On?
The economy changes, often without notice. Inflation, international events, domestic politics all adversely impact your savings when you least expect it.
You can depend on the guaranteed tax-free resources of Long-Term Care Insurance. You can control only a few things in life, but you can rely on an LTC policy to deliver you access to your choice of quality care and peace of mind to your family.
About the Author
An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.
Contributor since August 21st, 2017
Being prepared for future declining health and aging is vital to your retirement planning. People need long-term health care due to illnesses, accidents, or the consequences of aging. The costs of long-term health care services are rising at an alarming rate due to increasing demand and high labor costs.
Part of the problem is health insurance and Medicare, including supplements, will not pay for most of these long-term care costs. While Medicaid will pay for long-term health care, you must have little or no income and assets to qualify for those benefits.
There are only a few solutions. You could depend on family caregivers (often a daughter or daughter-in-law), spend your income and savings on professional care, or add an affordable Long-Term Care Insurance policy to your retirement plan.
LTC Insurance gives you guaranteed tax-free benefits that give you access to your choice of quality care services, including in-home care. Plus, most policies include professional case management to help your family develop a plan of care and find quality care providers.
Long-term care costs are expensive, and family caregivers face physical and emotional burdens. LTC Insurance is an easy and affordable solution but don't delay since policies are medically underwritten. Most people obtain coverage in their 50s.
Planning Tools and Resources on LTC NEWS
You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis.
To help you plan the costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:
- The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future cost of long-term health care services where you live. Plus, each state has vital state-specific information you should know - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News
- The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area.
- Compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
- A detailed tax guide that includes available tax incentives can be found by reviewing the Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
Seek Professional Guidance
Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, insurance companies' premiums vary over 100% for the same coverage.
Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family.
A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
Finding Quality Care for Mom or Dad
Start by reading our four guides -
- Finding Quality In-Home Care | LTC News
- Adult Day Care Centers (ADCCs) | LTC News
- Assisted Living and Memory Care Facilities | LTC News
- Finding a Quality Nursing Home | LTC News
If they are lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea.
Get Help in Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim
Quality care obtained early will help provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a deep decline and facility care. If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help.
LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work, free with no obligation.
You can also get support in finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News.
Benefits of Reverse Mortgages
Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.
Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages.
- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
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You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.
Be sure to write for our core target audience of adults aged 40 and older. Our audience is worldwide; however, our primary target is the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking nations.
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Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.
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