Introduction: Subjective life expectancy is a good predictor of health and could therefore be a relevant factor in the informal caregiving context. However, no research has been conducted on the perception of life expectancy by informal caregivers. This is the first study that examines the association between transitioning into, and out of, informal caregiving, and subjective life expectancy, and the relevance of employment status and gender for these associations. Methods: A longitudinal study was conducted with data from the German Ageing Survey (waves 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2017). Up to 20,774 observations pooled over all waves were included in the main models. In total, 1,219 transitions into and 1,198 transitions out of informal caregiving were observed. Fixed effects (FE) regression analysis was used. Moderator and stratified analyses were conducted with gender and employment status used as moderator variables and to stratify the sample. Sociodemographic information, health, and lifestyle factors were controlled for. Results: Results of adjusted FE regression analyses indicated a significant reduction of subjective life expectancy when transitioning into informal caregiving. No significant change was found when transitioning out of informal caregiving. Subjective life expectancy was significantly decreased when employed individuals transitioned into informal caregiving and significantly increased when they transitioned out of caregiving. Findings for women transitioning into informal caregiving indicated a significant decrease in subjective life expectancy, while no significant change was found among men. Conclusion: The study’s findings indicate that informal caregivers, female and employed caregivers in particular, perceive informal care provision as dangerous for their longevity and expect to die earlier when transitioning into informal caregiving. Thus, supportive interventions for informal caregivers, particularly employed and female informal caregivers, are recommended.

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