Today, many people find they have to make a choice between adequately funding their retirement, their children’s post secondary education, and providing financial assistance for their elderly parents. You shouldn’t have to make that choice.
As a member of the sandwich generation, you’re responsible for all of the regular activities associated with raising a child. You drive in the carpool, take your son or daughter to extra curricular activities and help them with their homework. You also take care of the various expenses associated with running a household. On top of all this, you would like to pay for your children’s post secondary education if possible.
At the same time, your parents have reached the point where they can still live at home but they now need help with their day-to-day lives. They may need assistance with grocery shopping or a lift to their doctor’s appointments. You may have to leave work in the middle of the day to run errands for them and might even have to shorten your working hours, which could lead to less income for you. If they can’t afford to have help at home, you will either have to spend time at your parents’ house helping out with the daily chores, or use your own money to pay someone to do so.
If your parents are not well enough to live on their own, they will have to move into an assisted living facility. If they don’t have the funds to pay for this, you and your siblings will have to chip in. If you are an only child or the only child who lives in close proximity to your parents, then the full burden will fall on you completely.
Being part of the sandwich generation can affect you physically, emotionally and financially. So what can you do to minimize the impact? Here are five ways to help balance your family’s multi-generational financial needs:
1. Don’t take on everything yourself. Look for groups in your community that provide volunteers who will visit with your parents and assist them with modafinilsmart.com certain chores. These services might be found at a local church or community centre.
2. Make sure your siblings contribute equally to your parents care. If you have siblings, ask them to pitch in what they can manage whether it’s with their time or money. If they don’t have sufficient funds to pay for a personal service worker, they can still run errands. If they do have the financial means, they can pay for extra care – especially if they don’t live close enough to physically help out themselves.
3. Ask your teenage children to help. Your nieces and nephews should be able to help too. They can visit on a regular basis, especially if they can drive, and help out with laundry and running errands. If you have adult children living at home rent-free, make it a condition of their tenancy that they help out with their grandparents on a regular basis.
4. Look for ways to supplement educational costs. Your children can work part-time while in university, and they can apply for scholarships or loans. They may walk out of school with some student debt, but an aggressive repayment plan can help them eliminate this in just a few years.
5. Speak to your parents before they need your help. Find out what their financial situation is now. If you anticipate that they will need your financial help later, you might want to suggest they purchase long-term care insurance now. At the same time, make sure to review your financial situation as well. Do this on a regular basis so that you don’t create another sandwich generation for your children.
When it comes to ensuring that the family’s multi-generational financial needs are met, many people overlook planning opportunities or risks that need to be addressed. I can help. Let’s talk.
Marcy Ages is a passionate, detail-driven provider of financial planning services, including investment management and tax preparation. As founder of The Care Network, Marcy also works with other service professionals to support high-net-worth individuals with their estate planning and assisted living issues.
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