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More than half of retirees do not have a will. More than forty percent do not have a living will. Almost forty percent 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 percent say that they do not have a sufficient estate to warrant having an estate plan.
Many people find themselves taking on the responsibility of paying for care for their parents at their parents’ retirement age. Sixty-two percent of adult children who were paying for the care of their aging 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 percent, of adult children have sacrificed 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 percent, have to take time off for caregiving of their parents. Almost half, forty-eight percent, 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 percent 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 percent 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 percent of adult child caregivers say they never get a break. This would help to explain why sixty percent of caregivers expire before the people that they are taking care of.