Working Americans who take time off to provide care for their aging parents lose an estimated $3 trillion in wages, pension and Social Security benefits according to last year’s MetLife Study of Caregiving Costs to Working Caregivers: Double Jeopardy for Baby Boomers Caring for Their Parents. Providing care, though rewarding, does present financial consequences that should be considered. Because of this, it’s important to check with your employer before leaving your job. Workplace accommodations, such as flex-time, could be available and might prevent a loss of income and missing out on years of service required to become vested in a pension plan or 401(k). Consider hiring a geriatric care manager to evaluate the older adult’s environment, make appropriate referrals, and provide a list of resources in the area. While they charge a fee, they can save time and money in the long run. Additional resources are available at BenefitsCheckUp.org, Administration on Aging, IRS, U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement, and the Insurance Information Institute.

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