Everyone knows that kids are not cheap. To raise a child from infancy to high school graduation puts enormous strains on families.
New government data has recently revealed that the average family spends $234,000 to raise a child to the age of 17. While that might seem like a lot, it is nothing compared to the costs of taking care of an elderly person.
The average cost of just four years of long-term care for an elderly person is $140,000, according to Forbes in "Families Spend More To Care For Their Aging Parents Than To Raise Their Kids."
As the article points out, parents receive a lot of government support to help offset the costs of raising children. The support comes in the form of tax credits and exemptions, in some cases. Lower income families receive support in other ways, such as food stamps and free school lunches.
While there is some support for taking care of the elderly because of Social Security and Medicare, there could be a lot more. Medicaid only pays for the long-term care of elderly people who do not have assets.
Families need to be aware of the high cost of caring for the elderly, so that they can plan accordingly. Money needs to be saved to cover the potential costs.
It might also be a good idea for elder advocates to use this data to argue for more support for families who care for their elderly relatives.
Reference: Forbes (Jan. 18, 2017) "Families Spend More To Care For Their Aging Parents Than To Raise Their Kids."