The average cost to raise a child to the age of 17 is $234,000, but the cost is much higher to take care of an elderly person, according to Forbes in "Families Spend More To Care For Their Aging Parents Than To Raise Their Kids."
The average cost of just four years of long-term care for an elderly person is $140,000.
As the article points out, parents receive considerable government support to help offset the costs of raising children. The support comes in the form of tax credits and exemptions, in some cases. Lower income families receive support in other ways, such as food stamps and free school lunches.
While there is some support for taking care of the elderly because of Social Security and Medicare, there could be a lot more. Medicaid only pays for the long-term care of elderly people who do not have assets.
Families need to be aware of the high cost of caring for the elderly, so that they can plan accordingly.
Reference: Forbes (Jan. 18, 2017) "Families Spend More To Care For Their Aging Parents Than To Raise Their Kids."