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Adult children spending time and money on their parent’s care has tripled

According to MetLife's National Health and Retirement Study, the percentage of adult children spending time and money on their parent's care has tripled in the last decade and a half. This comes as no surprise to me, as I see the rising long-term care costs, the economic downturn, and failure to plan ahead for senior care places. Therefore,  many families are in tough situations when a loved one ages and needs extra day-to-day care.

The MetLife data found that roughly a quarter of all adults are currently providing at least some financial assistance to their parents. A similar survey from Caring.com suggests that adult children may be providing even more support, as thirty two percent of respondents said they've spent at least $5,000 on their parents' living expenses within the last year. A large majority of that group admitted that supporting their parents leads them to worry about their own long-term financial situation. As one researcher involved in the data collection explained, "There are just a ton of families where the second or third generation needs to help the first generation. People are asking, a lot, about how to do it."

Not only does financially supporting aging parents often place stress on the finances of the adult children, but, if not done properly, it may actually be harmful to the senior. It is important to know the effects of gifting, because gifting can disqualify the parent from government benefits-Medicaid.

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