Many Americans underestimate how much family members’ long term care needs could affect their own finances — and marriages.
Genworth Financial Inc., Richmond, Va. (NYSE:GNW), has published that finding in a summary of results from a recent online survey of 2,151 U.S. adults ages 18 and over.
About 66 million Americans—or 20% of U.S. residents—are serving as unpaid family caregivers, Genworth notes.
Genworth found that 40% of caregivers had expected to contribute financially to family member in need of care, and that 83% had ended up contributing financially.
Only 38% of the caregivers had expected to see their incomes fall as a result of providing care, and just 29% expected to lose their jobs as a result of caregiving. In reality, 63% of the caregivers said caregiving had reduced their income, and 48% said caregiving had caused them to lose their jobs.
About 48% said protecting their spouses’ and other loved ones’ quality of life is one of the most important reasons to plan for long term care expenses, and a failure to plan can put a serious burden on the shoulders of unpaid spouses and children, Genworth says.
Just 16% of the participants said they had talked to an LTC counselor.
By TREVOR THOMAS