We spend our lives caring for others -- at least if we’re lucky. One of the greatest treasures in life is having people, causes and pets to care for. Unfortunately, caring for others can have its challenges, including additional stress and financial burdens.
Sometimes we get so caught up in making money that we don’t pay attention to how much we spend. Some of the money we spend may not really register because we use it to take care of others’ needs; what we may deem to be a necessary expense certainly doesn’t feel like discretionary spending.
But spending is spending, and we all need to take a careful look at how much of our money we use on caring for others, or “care management.” These expenses could include the money we spend raising our children, or helping them out when they’re older and nearly independent, but still need extra cash now and then.
We also should consider the amount of money we spend on elder care, whether for ourselves or loved ones. One recent study found that it costs families more to care for a frail older adult than to raise a child in the first 17 years of life.1 Many families are taking care of seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at home for as long as possible, given the increasing price tag of providing full-time care.2 Some insurance products, such as life insurance and annuities, provide various options you may want to considerto help cover the potential costs of some of these care needs. If you’d like to find out more, please give us a call. We'd be happy to discuss options based on your unique situation.
Charitable donations are also a care management item, and going forward, there may be a greater call for private donations if the government cuts the budget in areas like the cultural arts. There is also concern that reduced funding on the environment could have long-ranging impacts on care issues. For example, scientists note climate change can impact the spread of infectious diseases carried by animals and insects, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, West Nile virus, Lyme disease, Zika and dengue. Further, compromised water systems can lead to waterborne infections like cholera and other gastrointestinal conditions.3
To end on a brighter note, here’s a heartwarming story related to caring and making someone’s day. Students of White Bear Lake Area High School in Minnesota have an annual tradition of staging a runway march through a local senior center in their fancy dress on the way to prom night.4 Just imagine the post-march chats among seniors about their high school days! It’s an engaging idea that demonstrates it doesn’t take a lot of money to stage a caring moment between generations.
1 Howard Gleckman. Forbes. Jan. 18, 2017. “Families Spend More to Care for Their Aging Parents Than To Raise Their Kids.” Accessed May 12, 2017.
2 Bruce Jaspen. Forbes. March 7, 2017. “Alzheimer's Staggering $259B Cost Could Break Medicare.” Accessed May 12, 2017.
3 Peter Grinspoon. Harvard Medical School. March 29, 2017. “Our planet, ourselves: Climate change and health.” Accessed May 10, 2017.
4 White Bear Press. May 10, 2017. “Students take a prom march through Cerenity Senior Care Center.” Accessed May 12, 2017.
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