What does it cost the average American caregiver in out-of-pocket spending to help a loved one? About $7,000 a year — or, in most cases, a fifth of the caregiver’s income.

That’s what a survey from AARP found when it asked nearly 2,000 family member caregivers about their cost of providing care.

The study found a substantial range both in hard costs and in percent of income.  But the bottom line was clear: There are no easy choices when it comes to taking care of a loved one, and none of the choices are cheap.

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