Q4 — 2017 :
Chapter 01
Health Care Revolution, Preventing Alzheimer's, and New Findings on Work and Retirement
The Journey of Caregiving: Honor, Responsibility, Fiscal Complexity
Age Wave/Merrill Lynch
November 01, 2017

A first of its kind study on the topic of caregiving, particularly financial caregiving, a new Age Wave/Merrill Lynch study takes a deep dive into the complex journey undertaken by the nation's rank of family caregivers – now 40 million strong. This study marks the beginning of a new, multiyear research series that investigates five distinct life stages: early adulthood, parenting, caregiving, widowhood, and end of life.

The first study in the series, “The Journey of Caregiving: Honor, Responsibility and Financial Complexity” examines the responsibilities, sacrifices, and rewards of caregiving – a life stage that nearly all Americans will participate in at some point in their lives, either as a caregiver, care recipient or both. As the reality of an aging society shifts the weight of our long-term care system onto the shoulders of family caregivers, many find themselves in this role unexpectedly and ill-prepared for the financial, emotional and functional challenges that befall.

Greetings – I am delighted to share our new study on Caregiving conducted in partnership with AgeWave. 

Key findings include:

  • The 40 million family and friend caregivers in the U.S. collectively spend $190 billion per year on their adult care recipients.
  • Ninety-six percent of caregivers say caregiving involves much more than hands-on care – in fact, providing emotional support (98 percent), financial caregiving (92 percent), household support (92 percent) and care coordination (79 percent) far outweigh physical care (64 percent).
  • Financial coordination – or organizing and overseeing various aspects of a care recipients’ finances – is the most common form of financial caregiving (88 percent), followed by paying bills from their recipient’s account (65 percent), monitoring bank accounts (53 percent) and managing invested assets (21 percent).
  • Respondents find navigating health insurance expenses to be the top challenge of financial coordination (57 percent), followed by finding enough time to ensure finances are in order (48 percent).
  • Sixty-six percent of caregivers feel they could benefit from financial advice

In a recent HuffPost article, Age Wave founders Maddy and Ken Dychtwald also explore some of the study's key findings and discuss the lessons learned from their own first-hand experiences with caregiving. Learn about tips and resources on how to prepare for this substantial, yet often gratifying journey.

Q4 — 2017 : Chapter 01 > The Journey of Caregiving: Honor, Responsibility, Fiscal Complexity by Age Wave/Merrill Lynch