30% Spend More than $10,000 Per Year, 21% Don’t Know How Much They Spend

San Mateo, CA; September 15 2014 — Almost half (46%) of family caregivers spend more than $5,000 per year on caregiving expenses, according to a new Caring.com report. A family caregiver is defined as someone who takes care of a family member or friend, but is unpaid for their services. Their caregiving expenses include out-of-pocket costs for medications, medical bills, in-home care, nursing homes and more.

Of the 46% of family caregivers that spend more than $5,000 annually: * 16% spend from $5,000 to $9,999 * 11% spend from $10,000 to $19,999 * 7% spend $20,000 to $29,999 * 5% spend $30,000 to $49,999 * 7% spend $50,000 or more each year.

Thirty-two percent of family caregivers spend less than $5,000 per year, and 21% do not know how much they spend on caregiving each year.

“Caregiving can be a startlingly expensive endeavor that most people aren’t financially prepared for,” said Caring.com CEO Andy Cohen. “But yet only three in 10 caregivers have spoken to their loved ones about how to pay for care. Having an open and honest conversation about finances is a sensitive, but necessary discussion to have.”

Caregiving not only has an effect on finances, but it can also impact current employment and future retirement plans, too. One-third of family caregivers (33%) spend more than 30 hours per week on caregiving, making it almost the equivalent of a full-time job. Half of caregivers have made changes to their work schedule to accommodate caregiving, while 30% often arrived late or left early and 17% missed a significant amount of work.

“Family caregivers, especially baby boomers, run the risk of derailing their retirement plans if they don’t prepare for the costs associated with caregiving,” said Cohen. “Almost half of caregivers spend $25,000 on caregiving in just five years – that’s a significant chunk of money that could delay retirement by a couple of years.”

Additional Findings:

  • For 43% of family caregivers, deciding on a senior care or senior housing option took only one month. But for 21% of caregivers, the decision process took six months or more.
  • 60% of caregivers say their caregiving duties have a negative effect on their job.
  • 54% of caregivers are caring for a parent or spouse/significant other.
  • 20% of people being cared for live in assisted-living center, nursing home or other living community.

More information about the survey results and resources to support family caregivers is available on Caring.com here: Senior Care Cost Index 2014


Caring.com’s yearly Usage and Attitudes survey measures how family caregivers of older adults living in the U.S. hold up financially as they care for elder loved ones. From June 26 – July 20, 2014, Pretell Market Research conducted an online survey among Caring.com users, and received responses from 1,345 family caregivers. No incentive was offered.