The sudden caregiver

“There are only four kinds of people in the world—those who have been caregivers, those who are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” 

— Former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter

One of the 10 elements of retirement is aging. The aging and longevity conversation spans a wide array of topics from physical ability changes to long-term care to family legacy conversations. One of the most impactful areas within this element is caregiving.

There are over 43 million caregivers in the United States already, and with 10,000 baby boomers per day turning 65, the need will only increase. A large number of these caregivers are considered “informal” and “uncompensated”—which is another way of saying they are not formally trained and are not paid for their services.

The role of a caregiver is one of love and sacrifice. Unfortunately, it is often also physically, emotionally, and financially exhausting. While caregiving is inevitable, caregiving burnout is not.

This is the central theme of Karen Warner Schueler’s book "The Sudden Caregiver: A Roadmap for Resilient Caregiving"  (currently the Kindle version is only $5.95).

Karen Warner Schueler was not a caregiver, until she suddenly became one. She takes her readers through her personal story of caring for her late husband as he battled cancer. The Sudden Caregiver is a “systematic approach, a roadmap, to caregiving” put together with “twenty/twenty hindsight.” This book is for anyone who is caring for a loved one or may be called upon to care for someone in the future.

Caregiving is a responsibility that, while difficult, most take on willingly in support of the ones that they love. It is also often a major disruption to life and financial plans. This book addresses how to make that transition if called upon suddenly and offers guidance for making prudent plans in anticipation of future needs.

We’d be happy to discuss how we can help you to prepare for the potential role as caregiver within your financial plan.


Brightworth is a nationally recognized, fee-only wealth management firm with offices in Atlanta, GA, and Charlotte, NC. The wealth advisors at Brightworth have deep expertise across the financial disciplines, allowing us to provide ongoing, comprehensive financial advice to families across the country.


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