WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema, in today’s Senate Aging Committee hearing, advocated for Arizonans balancing retirement with caregiving obligations. She highlighted the stories of two retired Arizonans who experienced financial difficulties while caring for aging family members.
“Preparing for retirement is challenging enough for many Americans, and the challenges are exacerbated when retirees must also care for aging family members,” said Sinema. “While it is a choice made out of love, this impacts employment and even Social Security benefits if the caregiver spends years out of the workforce.”
During today’s Aging Committee hearing on financial security in retirement, Sinema shared the story of an Arizona educator who had to take early retirement at age 61 to care for her parents and the story of an Arizona man who found himself in financial difficulty when he became his mother’s caregiver. Sinema has championed legislation that would give tax credits to caregivers. In today’s hearing she asked Linda Stone with the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement how to shift the conversation around caregiving from talking about it as a familial obligation to recognizing it as work – especially in the context of lost wages. Sinema is looking towards ways to design an earned benefit for caregivers to ensure it reaches workers like the Arizonans she talked about.