Posted 03/08/2017

Families Spend More on Elders Than Raising Kids

Howard Gleckman reports in a article for Forbes Magazine, titled, Families Spend More To Care For Their Aging Parents Than To Raise Their Kids

The average out-of-pocket cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 is about $234,000. Among families where an older adult has severe long-term care needs and uses paid care, out-of-pocket costs average $140,000, according to research by my Urban Institute colleague Melissa Favreault. That enormous cost is generally spread over much less time, typically four years in contrast to 17.

Gleckman cites a variety of government programs designed to support children and reveals a clear disparity between public support for youth and older adults. In addition, he cites the freezing of many budgets offering supportive services like Meals on Wheels.

A society has an obligation to be sure its kids are well cared-for. But it has the same responsibility for its frail elderly and disabled. The US is doing its share for its children. It is not doing so for its aging parents.

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