They’re calling them America’s “invisible workforce”—and you likely know at least one of them. They’re family caregivers, people who may have demanding careers, forced to put them on hold to care for ailing, aging parents or other family members. The caregiver role may not be a full-time job, and it may be shared with another family member. Regardless of its structure, it places an enormous burden on families caring for their loved ones.
The bulk of caregiving for the elderly, ailing and disabled falls on women who are heroically juggling these responsibilities with their jobs while also serving as the primary caregiver for their children and taking care of the home. They help their relatives with everything from bathing and dressing to preparing meals and managing medication. This is the Sandwich Generation, stuck between aging parents and kids.
Thanks to the advances in modern medicine and technology, our life expectancy has increased significantly, which is great if we’re fortunate enough to be in good health and have the financial security to enjoy the extra years. We all want to grow old gracefully and die peacefully in our sleep, but for most of us, that is unlikely, and the path will be uncertain. The reality is that most of us will require assistance in our later years to carry out the basic tasks of living.
America’s family caregivers desperately need help, and all three Democratic candidates have offered some form of support for this underserved demographic. This is the first presidential race in recent memory where leading candidates have highlighted the need to support these caregivers.
Hillary Clinton unveiled her plan last week, which calls for a tax credit to help family caregivers assisting adult relatives who are elderly, disabled or chronically ill. Clinton’s proposal would help offset up to $6,000 in annual expenses related to caregiving. It also calls for a Social Security expansion so that those who are forced to take time off work to care for family members can earn credits toward their Social Security benefits. Neither Bernie Sanders nor Martin O’Malley has come out in support of the tax credits, but both support expansion of Social Security for caregivers.
The Republican candidates have been silent on the issue, which may be odd, given that this is an issue that reaches every demographic in our country. An estimated 12 million Americans—4% of the population–currently require long-term care—a number that is expected to more than double by 2050. A large, aging baby boomer population, a group that has been more vocal than any population in history may be the one that raises its voice to effect change.
Long-Term Care Insurance can help ease the financial impact for someone who requires extended care. There are discounts for couples, even when only one person purchases a policy. Some policies have life insurance attached. You have nothing to lose and much to gain by looking into LTCI for yourself and/or loved ones.
Thinking about long-term care insurance? Let’s schedule a call soon to talk about options. Contact Carly Ebenstein@CJB Insurance Services: 510.342.2670.