Americans are living and working longer than ever before. By 2020, 56 million Americans will be 65 or older, and that number will go up to 84 million by 2050. As the aging population grows, more working professionals will juggle work with caring for family members—spanning dependent children to aging parents.
One in six American workers is a caregiver, totaling an estimated 43 million in the US. But many caregivers don’t self-identify that way. To some, it’s viewed as just being part of a family. To others, they keep the reality of their caregiving role quiet because they worry it will impact how their employers view their performance. This can contribute to feeling isolated and overwhelmed at work while also juggling their family responsibilities.
The reality is, when broken out by hours and effort, providing care for family members is undeniably its own job. Family caregivers spend an average of 24.4 hours per week providing care. And this is on top of the hours spent at their actual day jobs.
The often private journey of taking care of family members can impact a caregiver’s career, financial health, as well as their overall wellbeing. They’re more likely to have personal loans like medical debt and 401(k) loans than non-caregivers, according to a recent study. Luckily, they are also more likely to work with a financial advisor and take advantage of the financial products at their disposal.
Listening to the stories of caregivers across generations* reveals it’s a responsibility many take on without hesitation for the ones they love, and support from places like their workplace and mentors can make all the difference.
Caregiving is a deeply personal journey, and so are your finances. Explore how Prudential can help create a personalized path that makes sense for your financial present and future.
This article was produced on behalf of Prudential by Quartz Creative and not by the Quartz editorial staff.
*These stories are composites of research and interviews that illustrate the experiences of caregivers in the US.