After the Crash, Forty-Five Percent of Caring.com Visitors are Providing Financial Support to Aging Parents

New research also shows boomers are eliminating extras, delaying retirement

San Mateo, CA (Apr 22, 2009) - According to new research from Caring.com, approximately forty-five percent of adult children who are caring for aging parents are providing them with financial assistance, with two-thirds more concerned about their parents' financial situation following the recent market crash. This insight is one of many garnered from a new research study conducted by Caring.com to measure the impact of the economy on the nation's caregivers.

"Caring for aging parents is extremely challenging. For baby boomers that are caring for their parents, the caregiver role affects their marital relationships and physical health, and now, because of the stock market crash, it's having an even greater impact on their finances," said Andy Cohen, co-founder and CEO, Caring.com. "Baby Boomers caring for aging parents need their own rescue plan!"

The average adult child caring for an aging parent spends $5,534 per year for out-of-pocket expenses on items such as medications, safety equipment, and bath necessities. These items are paid for by caregivers, with money from vacation accounts, savings, and slush funds. Caregiving has always been costly, but given the downturn, the question on caregivers' minds now is how much worse is this going to be? Based on the new research:

  • 31% fear they may, or already planning to, delay retirement;
  • 43% must severely cut back on "extras" like entertainment and vacations;
  • 37% will have less savings available when they retire.

While the nation's caregivers are worried about how it will affect their own pocketbooks, they're concerned about the long-term effects on their parents' financial situation. While the new research shows the economic crisis has had an impact on 71% of boomers' parents, it also indicates:

  • 35% fear their parents retirement savings may run out;
  • 23% feel their parents may have to move in with them;
  • 19% worry their parents will have to sell other assets besides the home.

While boomers are worried about how the economic downturn will affect their role as a caregiver, they're also worried about how to talk with their parents about their financial situation. How to have difficult conversations, like taking away car keys, whether or not to remain in the home, and status of finances, is one of the most commonly asked questions on Caring.com. Based on the research:

  • 60% have had conversations with parents regarding finances in past 60 days;
  • 35% are talking with parents about finances more than they did before.

Caregivers can visit Caring.com for additional information on the recent Caring.com survey, how to help parents financially without draining their own retirement accounts and how to talk with their parents about their finances. Visitors can also connect with a community of caregivers for advice and from others going through the same challenges.