Hispanic caregivers often young and unprepared, according to The Easter Seals Many faces of Caregiving Study.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., -- To meet the unique financial demands of special needs families and caregivers, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) has partnered with the American College to found the MassMutual Center for Special Needs in Bryn Mawr, Pa. The $2.5 million investment by MassMutual establishes the first academic center of its kind, serving as a national leader in preparing financial services professionals to help advocate for and secure the future of individuals with special needs and their families.
Among the Hispanic population alone, over one-third of households report having at least one caretaker, according to 2008 research from Caregiving.org, and 84 percent of Hispanics who are providing care believe their role is an expectation within their upbringing.
The Easter Seals Many faces of Caregiving Study sponsored by MassMutual and conducted by Impulse Research Corp. shows the state of caregiving in the United States is changing. Today's caretakers are young, and 90 percent are unpaid, according to those surveyed. Seventy-six percent have concerns about becoming a caregiver, including financial impact and increased anxiety. They are not trained professionals; many live in multigenerational households. Over three-quarters provide care to a parent, child, spouse or grandparent.
MassMutual offers the following tips for new caregivers:
• A team approach – Seek trusted advisors who have the special needs experience and are willing to guide you through the important financial decisions that affect your entire family.
• A caregiver and a letter of intent – Identify the person who will care for your loved one and draft a letter of intent that will serve as a guide for that person to provide care, support and other assistance after you are gone.
• Long-term expenses – Plan ahead for expenses such as housing, education, work opportunities and daily transportation when determining your loved one's lifetime financial needs.
• Availability of government benefits – Research the benefits that are provided by the federal government for families affected by special needs. You may qualify for assistance.
• A will in place – Make sure you have beneficiary arrangements and a current will that align with your other planning strategies. (SOURCE: MassMutual)
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