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Caregivers: Think twice about quitting job

July 13, 2011 at 12:54 AM   |   Comments

WESTPORT, Conn., July 13 (UPI) -- A MetLife study suggests U.S. adult children should think twice about leaving a job to provide care for a parent because the money lost lasts.

The "MetLife Study of Caregiving Costs to Working Caregivers: Double Jeopardy for Baby Boomers Caring for Their Parents" finds the 10 million employed U.S. caregivers lose an estimated $3 trillion in wages, pensions and Social Security benefits over a lifetime if they leave the workforce prematurely.

"In addition to losing a paycheck, you could also be missing out on years of service required to become vested in a defined benefits pension plan, to receive matching 401(k) funds or to build Social Security benefits," Sandra Timmermann, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, said in a statement.

"There are steps people can take to mitigate the hidden costs of caregiving and there are programs employers can put into place to help support their employees."

To help stem these losses, the report suggests thinking twice about leaving a job to provide care, as it will impact the caregiver's wealth and future employment prospects.

"In addition to losing a paycheck, you could also be missing out on years of service required to become vested in a defined benefits pension plan, to receive matching 401(k) funds or to build Social Security benefits," the report says.

Caregivers also should budget carefully and check out possible free or low-cost community services and government health programs. In addition, they should guard against elder financial abuse and discuss legal, financial and medical issues with their parent.

"Planning Tips: Financial Considerations for Family Caregivers" and the study may be downloaded from the Web site: www.MatureMarketInstitute.com.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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