Grandparents are becoming a bigger part of the U.S. economy.
Many are working past retirement to help their families financially, and they contribute about $180 billion annually to their grandchildren.
CGTN’s Karina Huber reports.
Carol Katz started her first business Adult Care Advisors 10 years ago with her daughter. With the help of Seniorly.com, a website that provides free information about senior housing, they guide families through the process of setting up living arrangements for elders who need assistance.
“I love what I do. I love waking up to it. I can juggle it with a social life. I can juggle everything all at the same time so why not do it?,” she said.
The 60-year-old grandmother of two said the job also helps her contribute financially to her grandchildren.
“I pay for the 4 c’s – camp, college, cell phones and one-day cars,” said Katz.
Seventy-six-year-old Tillie Montijo also went back to work later in life after discovering she couldn’t survive on social security alone. She now works as a full-time live-in nanny.
”Financially, it helped and then my daughter was out of work, so I helped her, and I just stayed working,” she said.
According to a recent report, 40 percent of U.S. grandparents are now working. That is almost double the number from just eight years ago. For some, it’s a choice. For others, it’s a necessity.
People are living longer while healthcare and other costs are rising putting a strain on savings. Many grandparents are also helping with finances related to their grandchildren.
AARP, an association representing retired persons, said almost 94 percent of those surveyed provide monetary support to their grandchildren, spending an average of $2500 a year.
“Life is very expensive. It’s not like when I was growing up and when I was raising my family. The taxes are high, the homes are expensive, the hobbies are expensive. Just keeping up with everything is a fortune. So if I wasn’t there to help out, they wouldn’t be able to know– I make life easier,” said Katz.
While working later in life isn’t always a choice, Montijo said she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I don’t believe in sitting back and doing nothing. If I’m going to die, I have to be walking or taking care of kids or doing something. I can’t just be doing nothing,” she said.