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Ways The Sandwich Generation Can Plan For The Future
Nov 16, 2023
Anyone experiencing the struggle of simultaneously caring for children and aging parents is part of the sandwich generation. Although “generation” is part of the phrase, it does not refer to people born at a specific time. Typically, these family caregivers will be in the 30- to 40-year-old age range, providing for their families and balancing care duties between the needs of children and parents.
Trends That Led to an Increasing Sandwich Generation
The rise in the numbers in the sandwich generation is a byproduct of two influential trends: Women are giving birth later in life, and the senior population is increasing. A third contributing factor was the COVID-19 pandemic and the fear of placing aging parents into long-term care facilities where viruses spread easily in communities of people with declining health. Many families pivoted to caring for their loved ones at home.
If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. You are most likely experiencing significant anxiety and stress as you juggle school and activities for your children, expectations at work, changing family dynamics, and daily caregiver duties. Though this is a challenging time in your life, it does not have to be as hard as it seems. There are steps to take to minimize frustration.
Ways for Caregivers of the Sandwich Generation to Plan
- Make an honest evaluation of your available financial resources before determining a new course of action.
- Are your parents able to pay for their care on their own, even within your own home?
- Do they carry long-term care insurance or whole life insurance policies with living benefits?
- Are other family members willing to contribute financially, or is a public assistance option viable?
- Talk things through with your parents about their preferences and abilities to pay for health care services.
- Discuss ideas with siblings and figure out who can help provide care and whose home provides the best solution.
- If external help is a must, research local possibilities and costs.
Preparing Estate Planning Documents
It is an excellent idea to consult your attorney about legal documents before a sudden financial or medical decision presents itself. You need to have the legal power to make important decisions for your aging parents. Your parents may need more help as their health declines or they experience dementia.
If your sandwich generation status continues for an extended time, re-evaluate your finances periodically. Goals will change, and updating your estate plan (and your parents’ estate plan, too) may help you stay on track to meet your family’s long-term goals.
Money management and estate planning are critical elements to creating a mutually beneficial living experience as part of the sandwich generation. While this may not be the easiest time of your life with the extra demands placed on you, it is possible to manage and even thrive with adequate estate and financial planning.
Speak with the attorneys at Kommer Bave & Ciccone LLP about how to structure your estate plan. We can help you determine the best plan for your family.