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August 20 2018

Millennial Monday: Many Millennials are Caring for Aging Family Members, Despite Financial Challenges

by Betsy Pearson

According to The Wall Street Journal, millennials are not only spending money on crushing student loan debt—many are now spending large portions of their income caring for aging family members.

Genworth Financial averaged the cost of elder care anywhere from $18,000 for supplemental care to $91,000 for full time care—at the same time, one third of millennials earn less than $30,000 a year.

Despite many of them working entry-level to mid-level jobs, “an estimated 6.2 million millennials provide care for a parent, parent in-law or grandparent,” according to a 2018 AARP Public Policy Report. Scott Williams, from Embracing Carers, adds that “Most are working full time and devoting on average, 21 hours a week to caregiving.”

I believe spending this much time caring for their aging family members has influenced what careers millennials are interested in professionally. Over one third of some medical related careers belong to millennials—occupations like physician assistants, pharmacists, and physical therapists are most popular amongst the younger generation.

Millennials have been called narcissists and are constantly chastised for “ruining” everything. With these latest findings, I think it is time to put these harsh critiques aside and recognize this generation for their stronger merits: empathy, family orientation, and sacrifice for those they love.

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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