The Effect of Family Caregiving on Wealth-Caregiver Smile Summit
Kerry Hannon is our guest on the Caregiver Smile Summit.
Accumulated wealth can dissipate seemingly in a blink of an eye, when women over 50 shoulder the cost of caregiving. A Merrill Lynch/Age Wave report notes that women are 66% of all family caregivers and nearly twice as likely as men to provide care from their 40s through their 60s. On average, caregivers spend $7,000 on caregiving per year; many contribute far more. Sometimes, women find the indirect financial costs of caregiving — lost hourly wages, reduced Social Security benefits and the missed opportunity for 401(k) contributions — especially high. A woman who leaves the workforce for caregiving loses an average of $324,000 in wages and benefits compared to $284,000 for a man who takes time off for caregiving. Women are also three times more likely than men to retire earlier than expected so they can become a family caregiver. In this session, we’ll discuss the direct and indirect costs of caregiving and ways employers can help and caregivers can find solutions to overcome financial challenges.