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Military families often face caregiving duty

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Higher-income military families may be more likely than comparable civilian families to be providing care, or to expect to be providing care, for elderly relatives.

First Command Financial Services, a financial services company that focuses on the military market, today published a look at military family caregiving in a summary of results from a monthly survey series. Each survey includes about 530 U.S. consumers ages 25 to 70 with annual household incomes of at least $50,000.

First Command has defined “middle-class military families” as being military families headed by senior noncommissioned officers or by commissioned officers in pay grades E-6 and above.

About 36 percent of the surveyed middle-class families either are providing care for loved ones or expect to be providing care, the company said.

Only 22 percent of the comparable civilian families are caregiver families.

About 44 percent of the military caregiver families are or will be providing the care in their own families, and 40 percent are or will be providing the care in loved ones’ homes.

Help with financing home care interests 30 percent of the military caregiver families, and help with financing nursing home care appeals to 10 percent.

Caregiving increases the likelihood that a middle-class military family will have concerns about being able to afford a comfortable retirement to 31 percent, from 22 percent in non-caregiver families, First Command said.

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