Planning for Life

4 Reasons to Pay Caregivers More

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on June 29, 2020

By Harry S. Margolis


One thing we've learned from the coronavirus pandemic is who's an essential worker and who isn't. It's disturbing that, except for physicians, there's something of an inverse relationship between work that's essential and compensation for doing that work. Investment bankers are not essential. Home care workers are.

There are at least four reasons we need to pay caregivers more, whether they provide care at home or in nursing homes or other senior care facilities: fairness, risk, supply, and quality of care.

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Topics: Caregivers

It's Only Fair to Pay Caregivers Above the Table

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 3, 2020

By Harry S. Margolis


The following email I received from a client demonstrates why those of us who hire caregivers, whether for our children, our spouses, or our parents, need to do so above the table, paying our share of FICA:

Dear Atty. Margolis,

I will be turning 65 in April. I went online to and learned that my benefits will be about $600 a month. This is devastating to me. I grew up on a farm in South Dakota and I can honestly say that even as a child, I have worked hard all my life.

I was a housekeeper for many years. I lived hand-to-mouth. I worked for many fine families and individuals. Some were doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, government officials, military families, bankers, and even a state supreme court justice. I also worked for ordinary people: moms and dads just trying to make it, gay couples, lesbian couples, young professionals, and students.

Now I am in a place where I have to answer whether I ever worked a job where my income was not reported. What should I say?

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Topics: social security, Caregivers

Ultimate Juggling Act: Working, Raising Children, & Caring for Parents

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on November 19, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis

Working-Daughter-Aging-Elder-Care-Margolis-and-BloomManaging raising children while holding down a full-time job is a challenge for all parents. Add in caring for aging parents and it can feel more like a vise than the proverbial sandwich. Dedham-based marketing executive Liz O'Donnell has written a book, Working Daughter: A Guide to Caring for Your Aging Parents While Making a Living, and started a website,, both aimed at helping daughters of elderly parents better manage the pressures coming at them from all directions. Both are based on O'Donnell's own experience trying to care for her parents, raise her children, and meet the requirements of a demanding job. They are full of good advice for other daughters (and sons) facing the same challenges.

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Topics: caregiving, Caregivers

Aging 2.0 Conference Paints Challenging Picture for Baby Boomers

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 29, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis



Organized by the indefatigable Tim Driver, founder of, the Age Friendly Foundation, and, hundreds of aging professionals, academics, medical providers, journalists and government leaders met at the Seaport Hotel on October 23rd to discuss the future of aging in Massachusetts. Driver's incredible slate of presenters included Mayor Marty Walsh, Governor Charlie Baker, industry leaders, Boston Red Sox President Sam Kennedy, and Alexander Kalache, MD, Co-President of the International Longevity Centres Global Alliance.

There were a few common themes about the challenges of our increasingly older population voiced by speakers from many different perspectives:

  • Inequity is a big problem; the wealthy can buy the care they need, there are some programs for the poor, and not much for the vast majority of Americans.
  • We have over-medicalized elder care and invested too little in social supports; this is a very expensive approach.
  • We operate too much in silos—health care professionals not talking to social service providers, who are not talking to private industry.
  • Social isolation versus participation in community is a big determinant of our welfare as we age.
  • Any solution will have to come through public-private partnerships.
  • Workforce—if we don't expand and better train and compensate the workforce that provides care to seniors, nothing else will work.

Here are some of the highlights:

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Topics: Caregivers, Aging Population, aging

Home Care Benefits and Risks

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 2, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis


In recent years, home care for disabled seniors has grown tremendously with absolutely no regulation. For the most part, this has been good, with millions of seniors being able to stay in their own homes as they age. But a recent series of articles in The Boston Globe highlights the risks inherent to the system both to those receiving care and those providing it.

There has been a proliferation of individuals and companies, small and large, either providing in-home care or connecting families with caregivers. Two of the biggest are Home Instead Senior Care, which franchises home care agencies, and, which has expanded its child care referral services to include senior care as well.

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Topics: Caregivers, elder care, home care

New End-of-Life Resource in Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 10, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis


A new website offers information and resources for individuals and families facing end-of-life challenges. It is designed as both a destination itself with answers to questions about end-of-life topics and as a directory of services in the community. The website,, grew out of the work of the Massachusetts Commission on End of Life Care and the Massachusetts Experts Panel on End of Life Care, which in 2014 came out with the report, Looking Forward: 2014 and Beyond

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Topics: end-of-life, caregiving, health-care decision making, Caregivers

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