Will you leave your job to provide long-term care for a family member?

Senior Resources

It’s a trend that few people want to consider: Adult children caring for their aging parents. Alarmingly, a growing number of women in their 40s and 50s – their prime earning years – are having to leave the workforce to provide long-term care for someone in their family.

The impact on women, in particular, is significant and financially costly. According to the AARP’s Public Policy Institute, “More than 60 percent of female caregivers who were employed had to make sacrifices at work to accommodate care giving, including going in late or leaving early, working fewer hours, turning down a promotion, losing some benefits, taking a leave of absence, or choosing early retirement or giving up working entirely.”

Will this be you? Your wife? Your sister? Your daughter? The possibility is not as remote as it may seem. While approximately two-thirds of us will eventually need some type of long-term care after we reach age 65 – home care, assisted living, nursing home care – only 35 percent believe it will happen.

Have a plan in place. Have a candid talk with mom and dad about the possibility of long-term care and how they can afford it. Assess their financial situation. Are there hidden assets, such as life insurance policies, that can be tapped should there be a need? Mom may be concerned about leaving money to you and your siblings, but compare that amount with the loss of income and benefits you could lose if you left your job entirely.

Repurposing a life insurance policy could prevent you from having to become a full-time caregiver. It could be a convenient way for parents to get the most out of a parent’s life insurance investment. The extra funds may make it less likely that an adult child will need to quit her job so that she can assume the role of primary caregiver.

To start the process, suggest to your parents that they contact a life insurance secondary market specialist with its own source of capital, such as GWG Life, LLC, to learn what their policy may be worth today.

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