It’s estimated that over 38 million Americans serve as caregivers.1 Caregiving can look immensely different with responsibilities ranging from support for a couple of hours per week to help with household tasks such as laundry, cleaning, food preparation, or shopping while others may live with and offer around-the-clock support and hold a nursing role with a loved one.

One incredibly common aspect of a primary caregiver’s role when supporting an aging family member is to become their financial caregiver. AARP’s Caregiving the U.S. 2020 Report estimated that over 21 million American caregivers support their recipient by managing finances, and this measure has risen by 4% since 2015.2

 That same study also found that:

  • 13% of caregivers want help managing their own finances2
  • Roughly 1 in 5 caregivers report experiencing high financial strain as a result of provided care (18% rating 4 or 5 on 5-point scale)2
  • 45% of caregivers have experienced at least one, while 34% have experienced two or more financial impact(s) as a result of caregiving, with examples of impact being they stopped saving (28%), took on more debt (23%), or left bills unpaid/paid late (19%)2

The Direct Express® Financial Education Center (DEFEC) is pleased to offer resources to Direct Express® cardholders to help them navigate choices on how best to manage a loved one’s finances when they can no longer do so on their own and feel prepared for the aspects that come with caring for a loved one.

This Financial Education Playlist covers topics such as learning about the benefits of planning for financial caregiving and what you need to get started, strategies that may prepare you to prevent elder financial fraud from happening to you or a loved one, and even how to manage finances after a loved one has passed so no one would go through this chapter of life alone.

This month, the following lessons are being added to the playlist to further help cardholders navigate the questions faced early on when caring for a loved one.

(NEW) Expectations of a Financial Caregiver

  • Discussion surrounding general information about a financial caregiver, good skills and character traits for a caregiver, the three categories of caregiving arrangements, responsibilities to consider, and more are covered in this lesson.

(NEW) Becoming a Financial Caregiver

  • This lesson discusses the steps of becoming a financial caregiver by how to create a plan about responsibilities for care and the parameters of the relationship. Discussed are the benefits of exploring a fiduciary arrangement, how to strategize for the long-term by discussing a loved one’s financial and medical situation, and how to protect a caregivers’ own needs and resources.

Cardholders can access the new modules on The Direct Express® Financial Education Center or Direct Express® cardholder website from any computer or mobile device that has internet access. The Financial Education Center will continue supporting cardholders throughout 2023 by releasing new topics regularly and existing content will be refreshed as needed to provide up-to-date information. Modules and materials are available in both English and Spanish.


  1. New AARP Report Finds Family Caregivers Provide $600 Billion in Unpaid Care Across the U.S. (2023, March). AARP.
  2. Caregiving in the United States 2020 (2020, May). AARP.

SOURCE: Direct Express Financial Education Center