MetLife Study Reveals Staggering Costs of Caregiving by Adult Children

MetLife recently released its study of the cost of caregiving services by working caregivers, mainly adult children.  The study found that nearly 10 million adult children over the age of 50 provided caregiving services to their aging parents. These adult caregivers, the study found, are aging themselves while providing care, and that these adult caregivers need to be planning and saving for their own retirement. The Metfile study is an updated, national look at adult children who work and care for their parents and the impact of caregiving on their earnings and lifetime wealth.

Among the key findings reported by the study are the following:

  • The proportion of adult children providing personal care and/or financial assistance to a parent has more than tripled over the past 15 years. Currently, a quarter of adult children, mainly Baby Boomers, provide these types of care to a parent.

  • Working and non-working adult children are almost equally as likely to provide care to parents in need.

  • Overall, caregiving sons and daughters provide comparable care in many respects, but daughters are more likely to provide basic care and sons are more likely to provide financial assistance.

  • The total estimated aggregate lost wages, pension, and Social Security benefits of these caregivers of parents is nearly $3 trillion.

  • For women the total individual amount of lost wages due to leaving the labor force early and/or reduced hours of work because of caregiving responsibilities equals $142,693. The estimated impact of caregiving on lost Social Security benefits is $131,351. A very conservative estimated impact on pensions is approximately $50,000. Thus, in total, the cost impact of caregiving on the individual female caregiver in terms of lost wages and Social Security benefits equals $324,044.

  • For men the total individual amount of lost wages due to leaving the labor force early and/or reduced hours of work because of caregiving responsibilities equals $89,107. The estimated impact of caregiving on lost Social Security benefits is $144,609. Adding in a conservative estimate of the impact on pensions at $50,000, the total impact equals $283,716 for men, or $303,880 for the average male or female caregiver 50+ who cares for a parent.

  • Adult children 50+ who work and provide care to a parent are more likely to have fair or poor health than those who do not provide care to their parents.

 
 
.