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Families Struggle to Pay for College Tuition and Elder Care

Money-StressAccording to the National Alliance for Caregiving, more than 60 percent of those providing care for an aging parent are saving less for their retirement. Why? Baby Boomers – those who make up the “Sandwich Generation” – are struggling to pay both elder care bills and college tuitions for their children. With expenses on the rise and economic hardships threatening the financial security of families everywhere, the situation appears bleak. 91 percent of those over the age of 50 neglected to budget for multi-generational financial support, according to a Merrill Lynch retirement study. Many families are unaware of the financial benefits of home care. More adult children would be able to work and save more if they had the assistance of a home care agency, specifically one that offers a home care system or home care software like ClearCare Online.

Avoiding Financial Pitfalls

Although financial strain may not be eradicated completely, there are ways to lessen the sting. Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at Ameriprise, recommends creating a plan of action for your finances. "With a college-aged child, it may be easier to calculate some of the expected expenses," she says. "With an aging parent, look at what they've needed during the last year and try to estimate how their needs may change." It may be challenging to calculate exact expenses but start with the things you can definitely count on. For families who use in-home care, look for an agency that can provide you with detailed invoices. ClearCare Online’s home care system and home care software generates easy-to-read invoices that are accessible online or via email.

Experts also warn against dipping into your personal savings to cover college tuition or elder care costs. This often creates more problems than it solves. "You can't do it all," de Baca cautions. "If you jeopardize your own financial future taking care of your parents and your child, then you're going to become a burden on your children one day.” Continue contributing to your retirement funds, even if it means budgeting in other areas of life.

Government and nonprofit organizations offer a wide range of help for the elderly. There may be volunteers in the area that can stop by and visit your elderly parents while you’re at work. Other options include adult day care services or in-home care. Working with a care provider that offers a ClearCare Online’s home care system and home care software allows you the opportunity to check in on your loved one no matter where you are.

Saving for your retirement while struggling to cover tuition and elder care costs can be tricky, but with forethought and careful planning, it can be done. Planning is also important when it comes to choosing a home care agency for your senior loved ones. Just like students carefully consider which college they will attend, families do well to take special care in choosing a home care agency. Ask what kind of home care system or home care software the agency offers for real-time visibility to patient point-of-care. This will reassure you that your loved one is receiving the best care while you’re away. Not only can you verify that the caregiver is at your relative’s home as scheduled, you will also be able to confirm that important daily tasks have been completed. If you have questions about how a home care system or home care software might benefit you and your family, call ClearCare Online today. This is one area of life where you won’t have to struggle!

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