Most Australians aren’t planning for their own long-term care. This is creating a major problem for the next generation, who still have their own kids to look after.
This mirrors what is happening in other western economies such as UK , Canada and USA.
Rising costs and fluctuating economic and health care are the new realities, so more than ever it is important to be proactive before a long-term event happens, to help ensure that you can still take care of your own needs, especially if you are caring for someone else’s well-being.
A recent USA study found that 75% of those surveyed haven’t planned for their own long-term care needs.
The study also revealed that while many people expect that their partner or children will be the ones to take care of them if and when they need help, more than two thirds have never actually discussed this with their family members. It’s not an easy subject to raise, but one that should be part of a larger conversation about aging and expectations.
More of us are feeling a pinch in our finances and lifestyle, because of the need to care for an elderly relative or friend, according to the study “Americans Are Spending More but Planning Less for Caregiving: Northwestern Mutual”.
This study found that Gen X and Millennials are the heart of the sandwich generation and are struggling with the competing pressures of caring for aging family members and their own children. At the same time, they are trying to create financial security and maintain a lifestyle, in difficult and uncertain economic times.
More than 30% of us are or expect to be caregivers and many are still not prepared for the financial obligations, which seem to be increasing each year.
The survey found that 70% of caregivers provide financial support. In addition, 34% of current caregivers spend between 21% and 100% of their monthly budgets on caregiving-related expenses. Of those expenses, on average, most is spent on medicine/medical supplies and a further substantial amount on food.
To cover caregiving costs, roughly 66% of experienced caregivers said they decreased their own living expenses. The survey also found that people who believe they will provide care in the future, aren’t getting ready.
An important part of early preparation for the role of caregiver is to ensure that the correct legal mechanisms and documents are put in place to give you the lawful authority to assist your loved one when the time comes. At a minimum, a general Enduring Power of Attorney is essential. Don’t leave this too late. This needs to be organised BEFORE your relative loses their capacity. If your relative has already lost capacity, the you may need to apply to the SACAT (Guardianship Board) for financial administration orders to permit you to handle their affairs.
If you are caring for a loved-one who doesn’t have a Will, Power-of-Attorney and Advance-Care-Directive we offer a cost effective and convenient estate planning service. Our specialist expert consultants can come to them and our rates are very competitive. To learn more about our services please call (08) 8212 7233 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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