Today's post was shared by The New Old Age and comes from newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com
|Earlier this month Representative Nita M. Lowey, Democrat of New York, introduced what she’s calling the Social Security Caregiver Credit Act, intended to increase retirement income for middle-class citizens who must reduce their work hours or leave the work force because of caregiving duties.|
It’s hard to feel optimistic about its passage in this political environment. I’m braced, even here, for a chorus of “How can we possibly afford that?” But you can’t really argue with the problem it tries to address.
The toll that family caregiving can take isn’t only emotional and physical; it’s also financial, but not always in obvious ways.
The groceries you pick up on the way to see your mother, the utility bills you quietly pay for your aunt — you’re aware of those. If you cut back your hours, turn down promotions or leave your job, as some caregivers feel forced to, you’re keenly conscious of your lost income.
But I wonder how many people consider the ways that their own retirements, years down the road, may suffer. The pressures of caring for a disabled or dependent family member can reduce Social Security income for the rest of the caregiver’s life.
And not by peanuts.
A MetLife study in 2011, based on data from the national Health and Retirement Study, estimated that men who reduced work hours to...