Americans are increasingly acting as the primary caregivers for their elderly parents. This is something that they should make plans for ahead of time.
If you know you were going to have increased expenses in the future, you would be wise to plan ahead for how you will meet those expenses. This is something people do all the time. Someone who would like to buy a house plans ahead to save the money needed for a down payment.
One future expense many Americans will face is the cost of acting as the primary caregivers for their elderly parents. Older Americans are living longer than ever before, and nursing homes continue to get more expensive. Being the caregiver for an elderly parent is also increasingly common. Americans need to plan for how they will meet the future caregiving expenses, as Kiplinger's Personal Finance discusses in "Why Families Need a Plan for Caregiving."
Beyond just having another mouth to feed, caregiving can often come with other expenses, such as helping an elderly parent pay for expensive co-pays for medicine and expensive insurance deductibles. Other expenses can come from making sure that a home is a safe environment for an elderly person who needs caregiving. People should also speak with an elder law attorney to find out what programs might be available to provide help for their parents.
It is not possible to know ahead of time, how much money you might need to help an elderly parent or even if you will have to be a caregiver at all. Nevertheless, you can get a better idea of what might be coming up, by talking to your parents ahead of time and making plans.
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Reference: Kiplinger's Personal Finance (May 9, 2018) "Why Families Need a Plan for Caregiving."