Making the decision to move a parent out of the homestead can hurt.
The house may be full of good ghosts and happy memories. But it also has too many steps and too much lawn to mow. So the time comes to pack up and move on.
A decade ago, at least one part of that transition wasn't so tough. When the for-sale sign went up, an eager buyer was likely to show up with a good offer. But today, families are facing a much more difficult real estate environment.
As an increasing number of Americans live into their 80s and 90s, many families are struggling to find ways to make retirement dollars — that were once supposed to support seniors for years — now stretch over decades.
More and more, families have to care for the very elderly, as well as look after children who might be college grads but haven't found a job in a difficult economy.
All this requires one very important thing: lots of money.
Even as the recovery gains steam, record numbers of people are living under a roof where adult children, middle-aged parents and elderly grandparents must learn to live together. In a series called "Family Matters," NPR's Morning Edition explores the lives of three multigenerational households struggling with issues of money, duty and love.
Americans routinely buy all sorts of insurance — for cars, homes, health and even pets and boats.
But when it comes to long-term-care insurance, relatively few sign up. Out of more than 313 million Americans, only about 8 million have any such protection, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. The low participation rate largely reflects the high cost of long-term-care insurance.
Walk through any nursing home, and your first thought might be: "I need to take care of Mom myself."
Few people want to turn over a loved one to institutional care. No matter how good the nursing home, it may seem cold and impersonal — and very expensive. But making the choice to provide care yourself is fraught with financial risks and personal sacrifices.
Those who become full-time caregivers often look back and wish they had taken the time to better understand the financial position they would be getting themselves into.
As part of Morning Edition's Family Matters financial literacy series, Renee Montagne talks to Jane Gross, author of A Bittersweet Season, about caring for her aging mother, and what she wishes she had known before she started.
Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
The Great Recession slammed into all age groups, flattening the career dreams of young people and squeezing the retirement accounts of middle-aged savers. It financially crippled many elderly people who had thought they could stand on their own.