The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
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The Hassle of Caregivers

Financial planners often help clients prepare for retirement by preparing a retirement budget.  In a perfect world, every person would have the original type of long-term care insurance, you know, the type that doesn’t have rapidly rising premiums when you are elderly.  In the real world, we plan for caregivers in the home of the retirees.  That is expensive enough, with prices starting at $15-20 each hour.

As someone who recently had to deal with an elderly loved-one, I found the cost was bad, and it was made worse by the constant hassle of finding caregivers and dealing with them.  They have no end of issues – sick children or spouses, cars that break down, alarm clocks that don’t work, etc.  There are agencies that will find caregivers and pay them for you, but those caregivers are even more expensive.  Sadly, even the agencies are often unable to find a suitable caregiver for your loved one.  Ten thousand Baby-Boomers turn 65 every day.  By 2035, there will be more people over age 65 than under age 18.  We need more caregivers – good caregivers!

In economics, when demand exceeds supply, the price must rise.  We can expect the price of caregivers to continue going up, maybe way up!

It is not pleasant for planners to suggest a relative as a client’s caregiver.  Keeping up with caregiver issues is a frustrating part-time job for your spouse or your kids.  Make it easier for your loved ones, by enlisting your own caregiver.