Around 40 million people in the U.S. are caregivers to family members, but a quarter of those people are millennials. Millennials are defined as those born between 1981 and 1996, and many of them have grandparents—or even parents—who need daily health care. This means that many millennials must put their own lives aside to step in (and step up) with financial and operational support for their loved ones. Millennials should prepare for their futures early on and medicaid planning would be beneficial to them.
Millennials face a new whole set of obstacles than older caregivers. Obstacles include having their own children, or starting a new career that requires more time and attention than caregiving. AARP found that millennial caregivers, on average, provide 21 hours per week of caregiving duties, which is the amount of time that would be required by a part time job. 53% of these millennials already hold down a full time job in addition to taking care of a family member.
Some challenges that millennials face while being a caregiver:
- Financial costs. For millennials, the cost of being a caregiver can be a huge source of stress and burden. Millennials carry an average of $10,000 in student loan debt, and they have to juggle not only paying for themselves and their own student debts, but also the higher-than-ever cost of caregiving.
- Feeling alone. millennials may feel alone when faced with a big responsibility, such as caregiving. With such a large responsibility, some Millennials may that the set of obstacles they face is different than others of their age. In a survey, nearly 75% of young caretakers feel lonely compared to older caretakers. The stress and emotional strain of caregiving can be incredibly difficult to face alone, without someone to relate to.
- Missed milestones. With a balancing act that includes working, having a social life, and taking care of a loved one, Millennials may not have enough time to celebrate certain important events in their life. Milestones such as buying a house or taking vacations may be downgraded importance, especially when you have mountains of debt and a family member to take care of. Millennials are no longer celebrating milestones on the same timeline as earlier generations as it is, but those with caregiving responsibilities tend to reach even fewer of those typical milestones altogether.
With the high burden of caregiving placed on the millennial generation, Medicaid Planning is more important than ever. Medicaid planning includes making sure you have long term health care insurance, hiring an elder law attorney, getting your estate planning in place, or even having an adult daycare set up to give your caretakers a break.
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Don’t leave it all to your family and friends—take action and start planning now. Download our Free Guide to Medicaid Planning today or attend one of our workshops to help you with a stress-free future.