Why Caring for Mom Risks a Secure Retirement
Life + Money

Why Caring for Mom Risks a Secure Retirement


Taking care of loved ones is taking a bite out of many Americans’ retirement security. A third of caregivers spend more than 10 percent of their retirement savings on care, and nearly a third plan to work longer to provide care, according to a study released today by PNC Financial Services Group. A quarter of current caregivers spend half their time taking care of a family member.

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“Caring for a loved one poses many challenges, including a major commitment of time and money,” PNC Wealth Planner Joanne A. Shallcross said in a statement. “It is essential to plan ahead with other family members to protect the financial health of one’s self and family.”

One in five middle-aged adults provided financial support to a parent in the past year, according to a Pew study released last year.

To prepare for the demands of caregiving, 29 percent of those surveyed by PNC are saving more, and 24 percent say they are delaying luxury purchases and travel. Caregiving is not without reward, however. More than a third of caregivers say the job has given them “a sense of purpose and fulfillment.”

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Even as more boomers care for their elderly parents, there may not be enough caregivers to meet growing demand, as baby boomers live longer, have smaller families, and are more likely to be divorced than previous generations. An AARP study from last year found that by the year 2030, there will be just four potential caregivers for every one person who could need care, down from seven potential caregivers in 2010.

By 2050, that ratio is projected to drop to three to one.

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