|Balancing Retirement Security with the Needs of Frail Parents: Caregiving, Financial Transfers, and Work by Women at Midlife
|Year of Publication
|Johnson, RW, LoSasso, AT
|North American Actuarial Review
|Adult children, Demographics, Health Conditions and Status, Healthcare, Women and Minorities
Caring for frail elderly parents can interfere with work responsibilities. People who provide care to their parents may need to take time off from work or retire altogether. However, reductions in labor supply at midlife can have serious implications for retirement wealth and, as a result, on economic well-being in later life. This paper examines how family support for the elderly can affect retirement savings by examining the relationship between labor supply, time help to parents, and financial assistance to parents. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study on a nationally representative sample of women ages 53–63, we found that women who helped their parents with personal care assistance worked significantly fewer hours than did those who did not help their parents, whereas those who provided financial assistance worked significantly more hours. Although few persons at midlife presently spend substantial amounts of time helping their elderly parents in any given year, for those who do, the costs can be high. Pressures on families are likely to mount in the near future as falling mortality and fertility rates continue to increase the proportion of the population that is very old and as women continue to play more important roles in the labor market.
Aged, 80 and Over/Transfers/Caregiving/Women, Working/Middle Age/Parent