A Growing Urgency

Navigating The Silver Tsunami

Study reveals caregivers’ lifestyle sacrifices and expectations while caring for loved ones

CHICAGO, August 7, 2019 – The realities of caregiving are hitting home for Americans, as a majority of boomers who expect to be caregivers (92%) are willing to make lifestyle sacrifices to provide care to a family member or loved one. The findings were uncovered in a supplement to the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement® study, A Growing Urgency: Retirement Care Realities for Middle-Income Boomers, which surveyed 1,500 middle-income baby boomers about their long-term caregiving expectations and plans.

Top five sacrifices boomers are willing to make to provide care for their loved ones include:

  • Reducing other spending – 66%
  • Travelling less – 41%
  • Moving to a new home – 27%
  • Working less – 27%
  • Stop working altogether – 19%

For boomers, their awareness of the likelihood that they will need retirement care—and their willingness to discuss their care—is growing, although still low. Four in 10 (45%) believe they will need long-term care at some point, compared to about a third (36%) in 2013. The study further shows that two-thirds (66%) have had detailed conversations on how they wish to receive long-term care, and over half (55%) have had detailed conversations about how to pay for it. This group also estimates the age for an adult to begin requiring physical care or assistance is 70 years or older.

However, despite these preparations, one-third (30%) of boomers who are caregivers still have had to tap into their retirement savings to pay for healthcare expenses, compared to 19% of non-caregivers.

When the old outnumber the young…

“According to the U.S. Census, by 2035, for the first time in U.S. history, older generations are projected to outnumber children, which raises the question of who will take care of the aging population,” said Scott Goldberg, president of Bankers Life. “Conversations around caregiving planning is key – and should start at home. There are also many resources – including involving an expert such as a financial advisor – to help in evaluating caregiving preparations and assessing costs and other financial implications to provide peace of mind for the whole family,” Goldberg said.

The Characteristics of a Caregiver
The study highlights that those with caregiving experience are more likely to have the following characteristics:

  • Female-First
    Be female (62% of current or former caregivers are female, vs. 38% who are male)
  • In The Know
    Are more familiar with long-term care insurance (68% of those with caregiving experience vs. 59% of thosewithout caregiving experience)
  • Talking The Talk
    Have reported having detailed conversations with loved ones, financial professionals, or others about managing their financial affairs in the event of physical or cognitive decline (54% vs. 38% of those without caregiving experience)
  • Thinking Ahead
    Have made preparations for when they pass away, including communicating funeral preferences (49% vs. 41%), identifying where they’d like to be buried/cremated (51% vs. 37%), and maintaining an up-to-date will (45% vs. 38%)

Caregiving Is Front-Of-Mind

“The survey shows that caregiving is front of mind – and growing – for boomers,” continues Goldberg. “However, it also reveals a greater focus on how boomers expect to receive care. With one-third of caregivers tapping into their nest eggs to pay for healthcare expenses, it’s vital that payment planning for future caregiving is considered and prioritized in equal measure.”

caregiving is front of mind – and growing – for boomers; However, it also reveals a greater focus on how boomers expect to receive care...

The Center for a Secure Retirement is Bankers Life’s dedicated research and consumer education program which provides insight and practical advice to help everyday Americans achieve financial security in retirement.

To learn more about how baby boomers, pre-retirees and retirees can be prepared for healthcare and long-term care costs, go to www.BankersLife.com. For more information on the report, go to www.BankersLife.com/Health-and-Retirement-Study

This study from the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement A Growing Urgency: Retirement Care Realities for Middle-Income Boomers was conducted by independent research firm The Blackstone Group. Participants were comprised of a nationwide sample of 1,500 middle-income boomers. Quotas were established based on the U.S Census Current Population Survey Data for age, gender, and income to obtain a nationally representative sample. The margin of error is +/-2.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.



About Bankers Life
Bankers Life focuses on the insurance needs of middle-income Americans who are near or in retirement. The Bankers Life brand is a part of CNO Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: CNO), whose companies provide insurance solutions that help protect the health and retirement needs of working Americans and retirees. There are approximately 4,200 career agents across approximately 260 U.S. sales offices. To learn more, visit BankersLife.com.