Financial challenges of caregiving

The number of caregivers is increasing. Providing flexibility for employees to manage caregiving may help ease their financial burdens and reduce work disruptions.

New research on current caregivers

As the population of older adults in the U.S. increases, we wanted to learn from caregivers about the financial effects of caregiving, as well as what they’re doing to overcome challenges. Current caregivers are as likely to care for friends as relatives; many are caring for several people. The majority of caregivers in our survey were caring for adults rather than children with disabilities.1

Work disruptions due to caregiving

In addition to emotional stress that can affect work, caregiving can lead to greater absenteeism.2 A majority of caregivers have faced work issues, including taking time off, arriving late or leaving early, reducing work hours, or taking a leave of absence.3

In total, 61% of caregivers have suffered job issues because of their duties


Time off 27%, got in late/left early 19%, reduced hours 15%, worked from home 12%, leave of absence 11%, didn't pursue promotion 9%, poor performance 9%, stopped work 7%, less demanding job 7%, poor attendance 6%, lost job 5%, retired early 5%, other 4%


Note: 39% of those surveyed responded "None of the above"


Challenges to financial security

Work disruptions can affect your bottom line and caregivers’ financial security, now and in the future. Caregiving costs and work issues may leave caregivers with less money to set aside for retirement. 75% of caregivers have less than $100,000 saved, with 54% reporting savings of less than $50,000.4 Some caregivers (14%) have even dipped into their retirement savings to help with the costs of caregiving.5

Caregivers in your organization

Odds are, you have caregivers in your organization. But one-third of current caregivers and almost half (46%) of future caregivers say their employers are unaware of their caregiving situation.6

Your Gen X employees may be most burdened by their caregiving duties.7

Gen X financial burdens


54% gave money to a friend or relative in the last year to help them take care of themselves because of a medical, behavioral, or other condition or disability

 


37%

had to reduce the amount of money they save


36%

had concerns about their finances


34% have less than $25,000

in investible assets, not including their retirement plan or equity in their home

Gen X emotional burdens
 

Among Gen Xers who said they were having financial difficulties due to caregiving:8


20%

dipped into retirement savings


57%

cut back on spending


14%

took out a loan


30%

cut back on vacations


How you can help your caregiver employees

Current caregivers told us that flexible hours, paid time off, and sick days would help ease the burden of caregiving.8

One-third of caregiver-employees claim their employer offers them no special services to assist in their caregiving duties


Flexible hours: yes 37%, no 23%. Paid time off: yes 29%, no 23%. Paid sick days: yes 27%, no 19%. Employee Assistance Program: yes 14%, no 18%. Care seminars: yes 5%, no 12%. Eldercare: yes 5%, no 9%. Other: yes 1%, no 9%.


Consider offering these benefits to help lessen the emotional stress on employees and reduce absenteeism. Providing financial counseling or education on budgeting and financial wellness may help employees manage the significant costs of providing care.

The number of caregivers will increase over the coming years. Help your employees alleviate financial burdens and reduce work disruptions.

1 Lincoln Financial and Collage Group, Caregivers Attitude and Usage Research, January 7, 2020.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.

6 Ibid.

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid.