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Analysis: Caregiving Hits Men's Earnings Harder

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Male workers who care for aging parents tend to earn less than female caregivers, and they earn much less than men who are not caring for their parents earn.

Researchers from the MetLife Mature Market Institute have published that finding in an analysis of the financial impact of caregiving. The researchers used data from a survey of 1,112 male and female caregivers ages 50 and older who had a living parent.

The researchers looked only at caregivers who were caring for parents, not for caregivers who were caring for friends, neighbors or other types of adult relatives.

The researchers found that, on average, the median hourly wage for caregivers is $16.36 for women and $12.40 for men.

For workers with no caregiving responsibilities, the median hourly wage is $16.79 for women and $20.91 for men.

For male caregivers, the median hourly wage is 69% less than median hourly age for other men.

When researchers looked at the effects of caregivers’ decisions to withdraw from the paid workforce early on wages, pensions and wages, they found that the median total cost of an early workforce withdrawal was $283,716 for a man and $324,044 for a woman.

About 10 million adult U.S. residents are now providing care for aging parents, the researchers say.

Since 1994, the percentage of men providing basic care for parents has increased to 17%, from 3%. The percentage of women providing basic care has increased to 28%, from 9%.

The total impact of caregiving on all current caregivers may be about $3 trillion, the researchers estimate.

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