These days, people can expect to live for so long that people in retirement have aging parents to take care of. People never used to have to deal with these problems before when people lived to about 75 only.
It sounds like it isn't enough anymore for people to plan to support themselves during their golden years. They also need to find ways to support their parents – who often happen to be laid up with debilitating diseases like Alzheimer's.
It happens over and over again in households across the country. People approaching 60 happily plan out their retirement, setting aside enough money to buy their grandkids presents and travel to places, now that they finally have time and money.
And then, the parents of the retiring couple begin to have their health deteriorate. By the time the retiring couple reaches 65, they realize that the medical bills for their parents are thousands of dollars every month and there's going to be no retirement for them.
As the baby boomers reach retirement age at around 65, a large number of them find that far be it that their children should take care of them; they have parents themselves who need caring for. It's a crushing burden.
One out of five Americans cares for aging parents. And it's a number that's been rising steadily. Not only does caring for parents cost one money, it costs one time away from one's job for doctors’ appointments and so on.
Experts believe that every person over 50 will lose a quarter million dollars in lost wages and benefits caring for an elderly person.
One needs to find some kind of balance between caring for one's aging parents and looking out for one's own interests. Boomers approaching retirement do see the problem and they have been investing with a great deal of urgency, taking risks like never before for better returns.
Financial planners are often worried about how desperate they seem to make a little extra in returns. They suggest that caregivers need to set aside separate savings for these things and start when they are young.
They believe that these funds should be invested in dividend paying stocks so that they may use that kind of income for the care they gives.
Some people carelessly forego the tax savings they could get paying their parents’ medical bills themselves. They just write a check to the parent.
If they could instead pay the bills directly themselves, they could get a deduction on their tax return. They can also have lighten their capital gains taxes by giving stock as a gift to a parent.
Young people today need to look ahead and plan for this well in time. It could save so much money if one could get one’s parents to sign up for long-term care insurance early on.
At the very least, it could take care of nursing home fees which could run into tens of thousands of dollars a year.
Some people believe that they should just give up their jobs and be caregivers themselves so they can save on that money. But that doesn't make any sense. When one gives up a job, one only sets himself up for the kind of poverty those aging parents face.