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As a family caregiver, it’s very common to focus all of your attention on your care-recipient. Unfortunately, this can mean neglecting your own health and happiness as a result. This is especially common when it comes to your own financial life, as a bulk of your time and resources are likely spent on your care-recipient.
There are many financial resources available for your care-recipient, and no shortage of advice on managing finances in retirement. But what about you, as the caregivers? Family caregivers face unique financial burdens, and their needs are often forgotten in financial discussions.
That’s why at Aidaly, our focus is on you, the caregiver. While you’re busy taking care of your loved one, we’re here to ensure that you’re taken care of as well. In today’s blog post, we’re sharing tips focused on how you can maintain financial independence as a family caregiver.
Financial toll of family caregiving
Becoming a family caregiver can take a tremendous toll – even if it’s one you’re happy to pay. But it doesn’t just impact you physically, mentally, and emotionally. It can drain your personal finances too.
This financial sacrifice can happen in two main ways. First, you may spend your own money on your care-recipient's health and upkeep. Second, you will likely experience lost earning potential, as you put aside your own working life to focus on caregiving.
The 2018 Northwestern Mutual CARE Survey found that 68% of family caregivers have provided their loved one with financial support – in addition to the countless hours of care. Additionally, 63% of people have withdrawn money from their savings or sold assets, to provide care to their loved ones. A Merrill Lynch study reports that 68% of family caregivers are “financial contributors,” spending an estimated $190 billion a year on their care recipients for out-of-pocket, care-related expenses.
Countless caregivers have also sacrificed their own work and earning potential, as their time is now focused on their care-recipient instead. Remember that this doesn’t only affect today’s income, but also next year’s earning potential, as well as a less compounded growth in retirement accounts.
Tips to maintain financial independence as a family caregiver
While we know you’re happy to be able to provide care for your loved one, we want to make sure that you maintain your own financial health and resilience as well, so that you’re prepared for life after caregiving.
Here are our top tips for maintaining financial independence as a family caregiver:
Getting compensated for your caregiving work
We know that none of these tips are useful if there’s simply not enough money to go around. That’s why at Aidaly, our primary focus is on helping you get paid for your caregiving work. A 2020 report from the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP found that 19% of caregivers in the U.S. are providing unpaid care to an adult – and that just has to change. Get started with Aidaly today, so that you can begin getting paid for the work you already do.