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Should You Quit Your Job to Take Care of a Family Member?

As our relatives grow older, they may require daily help to ensure that they maintain a safe and fulfilling life. When this stage comes, we may decide to move our loved ones into a care home facility that is staffed with professional caregivers who are trained to aging and elder with their daily needs.

For many, the best option may be for them to take care of their loved ones themselves. Unfortunately, caregiving can be a full-time job. You may need to quit your full-time job in order to be there for your aging loved one. However, you may not be financially prepared to lose this valuable source of income.

Below are some important items to consider before deciding on whether or not to quit your job to take care of an aging family member.

Can You Handle Full-Time Caregiving?

Caring for an elderly relative can be challenging and stressful. It could also mean putting a close on your career should you decide to quit your job. According to the National Alliance For Caregiving, those who decide to go into a caregiving transition end up experiencing so much stress that they too can fall ill.

Committing to a caregiving role can last for several years. This is a long time to be disconnected from your profession.  You may have to adapt and overcome a potentially steep learning curve, should you re-enter the same profession later down the road.

To know if a caring for a loved one transition is right for you,  explore some of the considerations below.

Don’t Quit Impulsively

Think through your decision about whether leaving your job is the best option for you. There are other alternatives to quitting you can consider. For example, requesting a leave of absence for several months up to a year may work better? Some company employee policies even allow for this type of leave.

Discuss a potential leave of absence with your management to see if it is possible and what you can expect. A leave of absence gives you the chance to return to your previous job once things smooth out more at home.

Another option is to reduce your hours to part-time and share caregiving requirements with other friends and relatives. This is a great option if you have a solid network of people who are willing to take care of your loved one alongside you. You can continue to earn a regular income but at the same time, have confidence that your loved one is being taken care of properly by people that love them the most.

Perhaps your income would allow you to hire an in-home professional caregiver? With this route, you wouldn’t need to quit your job at all. And your loved one would get qualified care while you are at work. If you can’t afford to pay for an in-home caregiver by yourself, reach out to relatives and friends and see if they may be willing to contribute.

Finally, you could also ask your employer if it would be possible to work from home. More and more companies are open and accepting of their employees working remotely.  Thanks to advancements in technology such as the internet, video conferencing and online collaboration tools, working from home would allow you to stay close to your loved while you continue to earn a solid income.

How To Quit Your Job

Before quitting your job make sure that you have a financial plan and savings cushion in place to support you during your new caregiver role. We recommend having at least a year’s worth of expenses saved before turning in your resignation. Along with your savings, devise a plan to cut down on your monthly expenses as well.

Reducing your fixed expenses will help you to survive with a reduced income should you do decide to quit your job. For example, by living at your loved one’s home, this could save you on rent or mortgage costs. Not to mention all the associated costs that come from having your own home. Review and cancel unnecessary streaming video and music subscriptions you are not using regularly and explore new cell phone plans that could offer significant monthly savings.

With a few simple changes, a savings account that would have lasted you a year could end up sustaining you for two years. If you can’t afford to go into full-time caregiving due to high expenses, you could seek alternative ways to cover your financial obligations. For example, your relative may be willing to pay you a monthly income for their caregiving services.  You could explore engaging in food, grocery delivery, Uber or Lyft services as a supplemental income as well.

If you do decide to quit, make sure you do so in a manner that leaves you on good terms with your employer. You may need your former manager to assist you with a new job or recommendation in the future. Write a formal resignation letter and serve your notice with grace.

Also, ensure that you do a comprehensive handover so that there is a smooth transition after you leave.

Should You Quit Your Job to Take Care of Family a Member?

Are you still wondering whether or not you should quit your job to take care of a family member? Take some time to review some of these important factors before you make a final decision.

It is also helpful to get advice from others who have quit their jobs to take care of an aging family member. They can bring light to any struggles they faced and offer advice on how to succeed in your new role as a full-time caregiver.

For comprehensive financial and retirement coaching, contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation today.


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Second Opinion Partners