My Secure Advantage

Next Steps for the Sandwich Generation

We understand your stress – trying to be there for your kids and your parents and the financial pressures you may be feeling. We call caregivers for both their kids and their parents the sandwich generation because you are literally caught in the middle.
By MSA Staff

We understand your stress – trying to be there for your kids and your parents and the financial pressures you may be feeling.

We call caregivers for both their kids and their parents the sandwich generation because you are literally caught in the middle. You may be supporting both these generations – physically, emotionally, and/or financially. This can make it difficult to ensure that your own financial needs and goals are met both now and in the future.

So, what do you do? How can you take care of yourself financially while also helping your kids and parents at the same time? At MSA, we have Money Coaches that you can talk to, who can help you explore your options and set up a workable action plan.

Here are some tips to consider:

Build Emergency Savings
It can be hard to determine when and how to deal with the issues of being in the sandwich generation. It’s never too early, but it can definitely be too late. An unexpected medical emergency may leave you and your family and siblings in a lurch, trying to figure out the situation. It’s important to be as proactive as possible. Building emergency savings can help you have money available when an unexpected event occurs.

Communicate with Your Parents
These conversations are never easy, but they are necessary. Talk to your parents about their wishes as they age and whether they have prepared financially. Here are potential questions to ask:

  • Do they want to stay in their home? Downsize? Move in with you?
  • What happens if they need more caregiving than you can supply?
  • Do they have long-term health care? Have they completed any legal documents?
  • Where are all of the important documents?

Communicate with Your Kids
You may also need to talk to your kids about their money situation, especially if they have returned to the nest to live with you during these challenging times. You and they will want to know what their plans and budget are to move forward. Together, you can come to an understanding about who pays for what and what are responsibilities they will have.

Be honest with your younger kids if plans may have to be altered, like what college they can attend, or that dream wedding, or a family trip. If your finances are tight, explain that things in life have changed and that the most important thing is that you are a family. Outline all of the financial “pulls” on your budget so that kids can grasp the reality of the situation without scaring them.

Communicate with Your Siblings
Again, these financial conversations may be tricky. But it might be time to involve the whole family so that you all are on the same page. You may want to include a lawyer to memorialize everything so that all parties are in agreement. The lawyer may also guide you in regards to the documents that need to be put in place. If a parent has memory loss, it can be even more difficult. Make sure that everyone has copies of all of the documents.

Your Retirement
Your budget may get derailed for a while as you help with both generations, but you also need to think of your own future. So as family priorities change, try to make sure that you are still saving for your future.

Your Personal Finances
This situation may highlight the fact that it may be time to get your financial house in order. Here are some questions you might consider:

  • Have you bought long-term health care policies?
  • Have you set up a will or a trust?
  • Are you saving for your future?

Talk to a compassionate and nonjudgmental MSA Money Coach for education on how you can prepare for a more secure financial future. It’s okay to ask for help.

Additional Support
Find out what resources may be available in your area:

Talk to a Money Coach for more suggestions and to take steps to protect your finances and help your family so that everyone can thrive together.

Information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific personalized investment, financial planning, tax, legal or accounting advice. We recommend that you consult an attorney, tax advisor or accountant regarding your unique circumstances.

My Secure Advantage, Inc. or any of its representatives do not endorse any of the websites or company names listed here.

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