Family caregivers give their all to the ones they love. But what can they do to make sure their own needs (financial and otherwise) are taken care of, too? Listen as Leisl L. Cording, CFP® shares some tips.
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Welcome to You & Your Money, empowering you to reach your goals with tips to help you Plan Well, Invest Well and Live Well™.
Today's episode features Leisl Cording, Senior Vice President and Financial Advisor at Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors.
National Family Caregiver Month is really an opportunity to honor the physical, mental, and emotional effort that caregivers put into caring for a loved one, whether that's a parent or some other family.
But it's important to also tend to your own needs as well and people that are in, we call it, we have this term for it, the sandwich generation. So these are people that are between ages 40 to 59 and they have maybe a parent over age 65 and they're probably still caring for a child. So it's very important to understand your resources if you're faced with this responsibility of becoming a full-time caregiver, you might think your only option is to leave the workforce but actually there's a couple of things to consider.
Number one is the Family Medical Leave Act, and that allows eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid job-protected leave for a period of time if they have to help out a family member. Now that could probably only be for a couple of months, so you want to check with your company about this and what they offer.
And then number two, if you're providing that care for more longer-term, you might be eligible to receive assistance from Medicaid. And there's, of course, availability and requirements and different restrictions for this program. But here in Connecticut we have a program called the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders and it might relieve some of that burden on the caregiver.
The caregiver should think about themselves too, I know they're giving a lot of effort into caring for, you know, a loved one but providing the best care for a loved one. may come at a high cost especially if you decide to retire early.
So thinking of that sandwich generation, number one you'll miss out on contributions to your retirement plan. So you're no longer working, probably can't make contributions to a retirement plan and you're probably going to have a longer retirement because you're retiring early.
Number two, if you retire early, you might not be able to access social security yet or Medicare if you're under age 65 and if you have pension benefits those might not start until later as well. And then number three, if you're planning to take money out of retirement accounts you might be hit with withdrawal penalties and extra taxes.
It's important to know every caregiving situation is different and you should consider both your short-term and long-term goals. And of course, working with a financial professional can help you to weigh the pros and cons and deciding whether to retire. early or not, and things to consider. If you take a part-time job, would you re-enter the workforce? Having a sense of what you want for yourself, will be really important. It's known that a lot of times when caregivers are caring for a loved one or a family member, their relied on for emotional support by the one that they're carrying for, but ways that you can maintain connections with the community while being out of the workforce, whether that's joining a support group. for other caregivers or picking up a hobby, make sure you connect with family and friends. Also, there's programs that offer respite care, meaning they'll care for your loved one if you need a much needed break.
And then lastly, just seeing a mental health professional can really help too, you really don't want to trade your own mental health for the health of your loved one. Being a caregiver can be hugely rewarding. There's definitely a lot to it, but it can also take a toll on your financial and mental health. Planning for that can really make all the difference.
That brings us to the end of this episode, as always, thanks for listening to You & Your Money. If you enjoy our show, please rate and review us on Apple podcasts Spotify or your other favorite podcast platform and find even more episodes videos. And other resources at our website whzwealth.com be sure to come back next week for more tips to help you live fearlessly and pursue your financial and life goals. Until then, Live Well.
Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors offer a Securities and advisory Services through Commonwealth, Financial Network member, finra as IPC. A registered investment advisor. Fixed Insurance products and services offered through CES Insurance Agency. They practice a 697 Pomfret Street, Pomfret Center, Connecticut 06259 and can be reached at 860-928-2341 Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors do not provide legal or tax advice. The tenured Financial Services team strive to support clients in achieving their financial life goals. For more information regarding wealth management, and financial planning with Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors please visit www.whzwealth.com.