**Edit: Has anything changed? We originally posted this article in 2007 and wonder if much has changed? One thing has, more people are in the ‘old’ demographic. Are caregivers (boomer parents) learning to deal with the increase?**
I always find it funny, somewhat comical, when banks state the brutally obvious. The latest, according to a survey of 2,195 Canadians between the ages of 45 and 60 conducted for BMO Financial Group by Ipsos Reid, of the one-third (34 per cent) of boomers who currently assist aging relatives:
– 66 per cent say it has had some negative impact on their lives
– 31 per cent say they have less time for themselves
– 20 per cent have had to take time off work
– 19 per cent say that they have been impacted financially.
The individualist North American society that treats their dogs better than the homeless, and their aging parents worse than their clients, are complaining that they can’t and shouldn’t take care of their aging parents.
Fact is, if you do not save for your retirement, if fail to invest your money and only chose low interest bearing assets from the banks (the banks make billions of your money, you think they really look out for YOUR best interests?) then you will undoubtedly need significant help when you retire (if you ever can). Unfortunately, what happens is you become a sponge on society by forcing your kids to pay for your care and basic needs because you couldn’t save money.
This problem of saving is only getting worse with ensuing generations.
To those who actually spent time investing and still don’t have enough, then well kudos to you. The study notes that 44 per cent of these boomers also financially support their children. Yet, despite the challenges, more than half (59 per cent) of caregivers say assisting aging family members has strengthened their relationships.
What the dumb (I’m sorry for all the negative sentiments) study doesn’t note is that baby boomers are getting older and THEY will be an even bigger and badder problem on THEIR kids and the overall health and care sector.
Despite the financial problems fewer than one in 10 (7 per cent) have asked for financial advice
about budgeting and planning for the assistance they provide to their family members. Let me get this straight. North Americans have so much pride that they can’t seek help to get their finances in order, have insatiable urges to spend more than they earn, and are so individualistic that they can’t take care of their aging parents?! Wow, what a mix.
Additional Survey Highlights
Differences between the sexes
– More women than men (31% vs. 23%) said they provide emotional support
to an aging relative
– More men than women (22% vs. 16%) said they have been financially
impacted as a result of caring for aging family members
– Almost twice as many women than men (18% vs. 10%) responded that
caring for older relatives has had a negative impact on their health
– Women were twice as likely (12% vs. 6%) to respond that assisting an
aging relative has impacted the job or career path they have chosen.
Solution? Save now so you’re not a sponge on your kids later. And kids, get ready to help your parents cause for most, they took care of you for 20 years.