Dealing With Caregivers’ Loss Of Retirement Money

The toll that caregiving for an ailing family member can come in several forms. Yes, it takes its toll emotionally and physically. That’s obvious.

But a story in the New York Times suggest it also takes a toll financially on the caregiver, and not always in the obvious ways.

Sure, you pick up groceries, pay some bills, maybe even cut back on your hours at work so you can help out. That all adds up.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But there’s another way. The duties of caring for a loved one can reduce Social Security income for the rest of the caregiver’s life, the story says.

A study showed that men who reduced hours to care for aging parents received $38,000 less in Social Security benefits. If they stopped work, they lost $144,000.

Women lost $64,000 if they reduced hours and $131,000 if they quit work.

A lawmaker from New York has proposed an amendment to the Social Security Act that would rectify the situation. It would apply to those who make no more than the national average wage of $44,000.

If such people provided at least 80 hours a month in caregiving, they would get a credit with Social Security to help make up the difference.

It would come from the Social Security Trust Fund.

However, the story says passage of the bill is unlikely. While 16 Democrats have signed on as sponsors, no Republicans are on board.

If you have questions about estate planning or elder law, feel free to call us for a consultation at (626) 696-3145.

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