More than 43 million working-age Americans serve as family caregivers. Most are unpaid, giving up a job to stay at home and help their loved ones. Unfortunately, only 42 percent of caregivers have life insurance coverage, according to a report by LIMRA. This statistic is cause for concern when you consider what could happen if a caregiver suddenly passes away. If you’re taking care of a family member, you may want to consider purchasing life insurance to provide support to others. Here are three big reasons why:
Caregiver Health Concerns
Caring for loved ones can be emotionally and physically exhausting for you. Studies have shown that being a caregiver, while working a full-time job and taking care of your immediate family, can increase your risk for developing a serious illness, becoming depressed, or just experiencing a general decline in the quality of your life. In order to provide for others, you need to be healthy. That means taking the time to care for yourself to prevent health and mental issues. But it’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case something does happen to you. Purchasing life insurance can help you prepare.
While caregivers generally don’t pay for someone to take care of their family members, they still incur costs associated with care. In fact, caregivers often have significant amount out-of-pocket expenses. An AARP study in 2016, “Family Caregiving and Out-of-Pocket Costs,” estimated that family caregivers spend an average of nearly $7,000 on costs related to caregiving a year, which was nearly 20 percent of their income. Three years later, that cost has only risen. To cover these extra expenses, many caregivers are forced to cut their spending and retirement savings. Should something happen to you unexpectedly, care expenses will still need to be covered by your family. Life insurance can help provide for those costs, so you aren’t struggling to make ends meet.
Additional Costs for Those You Leave Behind
If you’re the primary caregiver for a family member and you unexpectedly pass away, there may not be anyone who can step up to fill your shoes and provide the same level of care. Should that occur there can be significant long-term expenses that need to be taken into consideration. If you leave a young child behind, there may be years of childcare costs to think about. Without you around, your significant other may need to work to pay the bills. This often means paying additional costs for childcare. Other costs might include cleaning the house regularly or shopping for groceries. If you’re caring for a parent or grandparent, they may need to be placed in assisted living or a home for the elderly if another family member can’t care for them. A life insurance policy can help with these unforeseen expenses and make the transition easier for your loved ones.