Why Your Parents' Retirement Could Become Your Financial Burden

NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- With one in five Americans not having enough saved for retirement, it's inevitable that many retirees will wind up being taken care of by their adult children.

For example, Matthew Eskarous rents an apartment for his retired mother near his home in North Brunswick, N.J. He spends time with her daily and accompanies her to doctor’s appointments.

“It’s something I feel obligated to do,” Eskarous said.

The 37 year old is among the 28% of Americans who believe they will need to support or already support their parents financially in their senior years, and 86% of that demographic have concerns about their ability to do so, according to the Retirement and Senior Care Financial Planning Survey conducted by Harris Poll.

“Through our work with families, we find that it’s quite common for adult children to provide financially for their aging parents, but it’s not often clear if families had expected or planned to do so,” said Ed Nevraumont, chief marketing officer with A Place for Mom, a senior living referral service that co-commissioned the survey.

The survey further found that 42% of Americans have not discussed anything with their parents regarding how they will be cared for in their senior years, indicating that this care-giving in retirement often comes as a surprise.

“It’s an important reminder for families to start voicing concerns about retirement finances, as well as to make senior care a priority for themselves and for loved ones,” said Andy Smith, executive vice president of investments at The Mutual Fund Store, a registered investment advisory with 120 offices nationwide, and the other partner in commissioning the survey.

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