When you devote time and energy to caring for an aging parent, you may find it difficult to balance the rest of your responsibilities. While you put your parents as a high priority in your life, the reality is that you still need to be able to pay your bills. The Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) indicates that between now and 2031, all members of the baby boom generation will turn 65. As a result, both the number and proportion of seniors in the population will climb, leading to increasing demands on healthcare and home care. In addition, as the boomer generation and their parents age, more of their family members will have eldercare responsibilities that will require them to take time off work.
So, if you are among those in this statistic, what can you do to ensure your finances are not disrupted during this stage of life? Here are some tips you can use to ensure that your career and your finances remain intact even while you take on eldercare responsibilities.
According to Time’s article, committing yourself to caring for an aging parent can have a negative impact on your career and financial future, particularly if you are female. If you are spending around 20 hours per week taking care of mom or dad, you may not have the time to take on additional responsibilities at work. This can make it difficult to accept promotions as they come your way. In addition, reduced hours and missed promotions lead to lower wages. These hits can have a significant impact on what you are able to contribute to your retirement plan.
So what can you do? How can you give your parent proper care, without falling into a downward financial spiral? Here are some tips:
- Adjust Your Financial Plan – Be proactive to keep your budget or financial plan updated if your income has dropped during this time. Don’t stop saving, but adjust your savings target if you need to while keeping your long-term goals in mind.
- Get Help When Needed – Sometimes having at-home care can free some of your time to focus on work responsibilities. Care At Home Services offers exceptional at-home care from an attentive team of caregivers so that you can have a break without sacrificing the quality of care your loved ones receive. In addition, find other family members or friends who you can delegate some tasks to, such as grocery shopping or driving to appointments.
- Make a List of Your Duties – In order to manage this balance of caregiver and working professional, you may feel like you need to do a lot of things. It’s easy to take on responsibilities that aren’t true necessities. To avoid this, make a list of what you have to do, and prioritize the list to ensure the most important duties are covered.
- Don’t Neglect Retirement – Your retirement is approaching and should not be neglected during this stage of life. If you have to step away from work temporarily, be proactive about talking with your employer so you don’t lose any employee-sponsored retirement plans that you could potentially keep.
This is a unique stage of life when you are nearing the tail end of your career, yet taking on new responsibilities. If you aren’t careful, your new caregiving role can be detrimental to your finances. With these tips and some outside help from companies like Care At Home Services, you can get through this time while keeping your financial goals on track.