As we live longer and the cost of healthcare increases, where would we turn to for support? For many, that responsibility falls largely on their family members. More often than not, these caregivers are those that belong to the sandwiched generation, ones with their own family and children that they are taking care of. In addition to helping with daily chores, many also provide financial support, with monthly contribution averaging $403, according to the latest study by RBC Wealth Management.
Imagine if your loved ones end up in the emergency room, and you were to take charge of their financial obligations, would you know what bills they have and when they will become due? Do you know where they hold their financial assets or if they have a safety deposit box? And what if they need renovation in the house and the service of paid caregivers? How do siblings pitch in and track the resources needed to help their aging parents? And how do we overcome the challenge of living apart – and ensure that our loved ones continue to live independently and with dignity?
Ideally, many of these would have been sorted out prior to the moment of crisis. But therein lies the unfortunate reality: Unlike child birth which you would typically have 9 months to plan for, with the help of friends and family and a medical team, such luxury does not typically exist with aging. There is no definite timeline – and the market isn’t saturated with books and advice like “what to expect when you are expecting”. So how does one plan for it? Or rather, do we plan for it?
According to the 2018 C.A.R.E study done by Northwestern Mutual on the financial and lifestyle costs of caregiving – 3 in 10 Americans have taken on caregiving responsibilities while 1 in 5 expect to in the future. Shockingly, 7 in 10 caregivers provide financial support, and 1 in 3 current caregivers spend more than 20% of their monthly budget on providing care. It is a burden that will transcend generations, as caregiving becomes a growing reality for many, and where the need to provide financial support is growing. Yet, few have taken steps to prepare.
It is a conversation too important to ignore, as our societies age and people live longer. With millennials representing nearly a quarter of all unpaid family caregivers, why aren’t we seeing more financial services solutions geared towards serving the needs for multiple generations?
“To serve seniors is to value caring.” ~ Evin Ollinger, CEO & Founder of Golden
Financial technology innovation is not about the next shiny new toy. It is about addressing the real needs of our day-to-day challenges.
Join us May 15th for the inaugural FinTech4Life where we explore the future of financial services for the world’s fastest growing and wealthiest customer segment.