Many Americans are taking a financial battering from many different angles.
Baby boomers are having an especially tough time‚ with a slow recession recovery‚ stagnant wages‚ high costs for child care‚ gas and goods and‚ for a growing number‚ the added expense of caring for an elderly relative.
Our Woodland Hills bankruptcy lawyers know that when you are grappling with all this at once‚ it is very easy to slide into a vicious cycle of debt. For many‚ bankruptcy is the light at the end of the tunnel.
We expect in the coming years‚ with the graying of the population‚ to see a growing number of individuals in this situation.
The Pew Research Center recently released a survey indicating that 40 percent of American adults are caring for someone who has a significant health issue. That’s an increase from 30 percent just three years ago. We have every reason to anticipate this number is going to rise.
According to the federal Administration on Aging‚ the number of adults aged 65 and older numbered about 40.4 million in 2010. That represented an increase of 5.4 million (or 15.3 percent) since just 2000. It is projected that by 2020‚ some 55 million people will be over the age of 65‚ which represents a 36 percent increase in a single decade. Those aged 85 and older are expected to increase by 5.5 million in 2010 to 6.6 million in 2020‚ reflecting a nearly 20 percent increase.
The financial impact of this to the middle class can’t be understated. Full-time‚ residential care costs are astronomical for most families‚ which means many are going to explore in-home care.
Recent research by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the MetLife Mature Market Institute this can result in relentless demands on your time and finances‚ and ultimately can affect your own health. That means family caregivers are dealing not only with a short-term loss of wages‚ as well as the cost of medical supplies and care for their loved one‚ but they may also end up needing additional health care themselves.
The average caregiver is profiled as a 49-year-old woman who works outside of the home and also spends about 20 hours weekly providing unpaid care to her mother for roughly five years. MetLife estimates that on average‚ that caregiver is going to lose some $324‚000 in wages‚ pension benefits and Social Security over the course of a lifetime.
That is before you factor in any of the other financial hurdles facing baby boomers today.
While elderly relatives ideally would have some resources to help offset some of these costs‚ that is unfortunately not always the case. It’s also important to note that the recession hit a number of older folks as well as younger‚ and times still remain pretty tough‚ financially speaking‚ for a lot of people.
If you find yourself struggling to cover basic expenses‚ maxed out on credit cards and stressing not only your loved one’s care but your own well-being‚ it’s time to reach out. Help is available.
Filing for bankruptcy may help to ease some of these burdens more than you realize.
If you are contemplating bankruptcy in Woodland Hills‚ contact Cal West Law to schedule your free consultation. Call (800) 568-0707.
Assessing the Costs of Caring for an Aging Relative‚ Aug. 28‚ 2013‚ By Ann Carrns‚ The New York Times