“ I Don’t Want to Think About that Now…or Ever.”
More than half of retirees do not have a will. More than forty per cent do not have a living will. Almost forty per cent do not have a Power of Attorney for making health care decisions. Approximately ten percent of Americans do not have an estate plan. The favorite excuse for not having an estate plan is that they do not want to think about dying or becoming a burden to their spouse or their offspring. Another favorite reason often given for this lack of planning is that they do not know whom to talk to. Twenty-four per cent say that they do not have a sufficient estate to warrant having an estate plan. The ten most common problems in estate planning are:
- Not having made a will.
- Not funding ones revocable trust.
- Failing to understand the importance of life insurance.
- Failing to plan financially for the impact of children with special needs.
- Insufficient planning for being incapacitated during ones working life.
- Poor business planning.
- Not preparing for the costs of raising minor children.
- Improper selection of beneficiaries.
- Not updating ones estate plan.
- Doing it yourself, without benefit of professional counsel.
Many people find themselves taking on the responsibility of paying for care for their parents at their parents’ retirement age. Sixty-two per cent of adult children who were paying for the care of their ag- ing parents said that the cost of caring for a parent has substantially affected their efforts to plan for their own future finances.
Adult children are actually paying out-of-pocket for long term care and are also providing hands-on care. Adult children are also paying for their parents’ daily expenses including food, household goods, drugs, medical co-payments and transportation. One-third of adult children are spending $300 or more per month out-of-pocket for caregiving expenses. Over half, fifty-four per cent, of adult children have sa-crificed spending money on themselves to pay for the care of their parents.
Caring for parents is a significant influence on the finances of adult children. Caring for parents also has influence on the adult children in their workplaces. Almost half, forty-three per cent, have to take time off for caregiving of their parents. Almost half, forty-eight per cent, say that they are making less money because of the time that they must take off to care for their parents. Most profoundly, one quarter, or twenty-five per cent have been fire or had to quit their jobs as a result of caregiving responsibilities.
Caregiving for parents takes a physical and emotional toll on adult children. Over half, fifty-three per cent of adult children provide more than forty hours or more of care for parents per week. Over one- third, thirty-seven percent, provide more than eighty hours per week of care. Twenty-one per cent of adult child caregivers say they never get a break. This would help to explain why sixty per cent of care- givers expire before the people that they are taking care of.