Caring for an older parent is a time-consuming labor of love. It can also affect finances, as family caregivers may decide to take unpaid leave from work, reduce their hours, or stop working altogether.
It’s not unusual for family caregivers to set aside their long-term financial objectives in order to focus on a loved one’s needs. And, as many as one in three family caregivers who are about to retire are using their own savings to care for a loved one.
There are strategies, however, to build retirement savings even when caring for a loved one.
How Can I Improve My Retirement Savings While Taking Care of My Aging Parent?
- Begin with a budget. Work with a financial expert to generate a plan that allows you to consistently set aside money for retirement. It is crucial to make saving a high priority in your budgetary plan, even when you are unable to save the amount you did before taking on the job of caregiver. If you have not already, set up an IRA that enables you to capitalize on tax benefits. Determine if your employer offers a company match for retirement savings too.
- Look into other savings options. In the event that you decide not to work outside of the home, see if you are eligible for a spousal IRA. You can also explore an SEP (simplified employee pension) plan if you are working on a freelance basis or running your own business.
- Whatever you do, do not exhaust your savings for your loved one’s care. Depending on your family member’s financial status, they may qualify for benefits programs such as Medicaid or Supplemental Social Security. You may even be able to claim the senior as a dependent to get a break on your own taxes. Using your own savings funds should be absolutely the last resort.
Although the immediate needs your loved one is experiencing may seem to demand your full attention, make time to make your own long-term planning a priority as well. Your financial advisor can help you develop a retirement plan that includes consideration for future long-term care needs. A long-term care insurance policy, for example, can assist with the expense of home care services whenever the need arises.
How Do Home Care Services Help Me Prepare for My Own Retirement?
Partnering with an in-home care provider, like Absolute Companion Care, serving Baltimore, Towson, Glencoe, and the surrounding areas, helps you achieve an ideal balance between earning an income and taking care of a family member. You can decide how much time to dedicate to working while knowing your aging parent is receiving excellent care, additional opportunities for fun outings and socialization, and much more.
Our fully trained and experienced caregivers are here to help as much as needed, whether just a few hours each week, 40 hours or more to help you to work full-time, or even 24 hours a day, around the clock. Let us help both you and the person in your care set and achieve new goals. Reach out to us at 410-357-9640 to learn more about how our in-home care services can help!