Caring for a loved one can play havoc with the caregiver’s efforts to save for retirement.
Genworth Financial Inc., Richmond, Va. (NYSE:GNW), has published figures quanitifying the damage in a summary of results from an April survey of 818 U.S. consumers 25 years of age or older.
Respondents were either recipients of long term care or had a family member that was a recipient of care for 30 days or more during the previous 12-month period.
Researchers divided caregivers into two groups – primary caregivers, or the main providers of hands-on care, and secondary caregivers, or others involved with care who do not provide day-to-day support.
About 73% of the primary caregivers – and 40% of the secondary caregivers – said they had reduced contributions to savings accounts as a result of caregiving responsibilities, and 80% of the primary caregivers and 55% of the secondary caregivers said they had reduced retirement contributions.
The caregiving-related drop for 401(k) plan contributions was 65% for primary caregivers and 22% for secondary caregivers.
Caregiving also had a direct effect on the caregivers’ ability to work and keep jobs.
About 44% of the primary caregivers and 29% of the secondary caregivers reported having to work fewer hours because of caregiving, and 48% of the primary caregivers and 42% of the secondary caregivers said they had lost jobs, changed shifts or missed career opportunities because of their responsibilities.