Americans are feeling increasing financial and lifestyle pressure due to caring for an elderly relative or friend, according to a Northwestern Mutual study.
“According to our data, Gen X and even Millennials are the heart of the sandwich generation and struggling with the competing pressures of caring for aging family members and their own children while building financial security and maintaining a lifestyle,” Kamilah Williams-Kemp, vice president of long-term care at Northwestern Mutual, said in a statement.
Northwestern Mutual recently released the results of its C.A.R.E. Study, which explores the multiple facets of caregiving and longevity risk.
The 2018 Northwestern Mutual C.A.R.E. (Costs, Accountabilities, Realities, Expectations) Study includes responses from 1,004 American adults from the general population, with an oversample of 233 American adults age 35 to 49 (for a total of 413) and an oversample of 709 experienced caregivers (for a total of 987).
Three in ten Americans identify as current or past caregivers and more than 1 in 5 (22%) expect to become caregivers in the future, according to the study. However, even though half of American caregivers (53%) say that the care event was planned, many remain unprepared for the financial obligations, which appear to be increasing year over year.
The survey finds that approximately seven in 10 caregivers provide financial support.
It also finds that more than a third (34%) of current caregivers spend between 21% and 100% of their monthly budget on caregiving-related expenses. Of those expenses, on average, $273 is spent on medicine/medical supplies and $159 on food, the survey finds.
To cover caregiving costs, two in three experienced caregivers said they reduced living expenses (significantly higher than the 51% who said so last year), according to the survey.