If you are caring for young children and aging parents, you are part of the sandwich generation. Developing a financial plan for your parents,
your children, and yourself will help you navigate the challenges you face.
A Retirement Income Plan for Your Parents
It’s time to have a serious money talk with your parents. In addition to understanding their wishes
for medical treatment and long-term care, you should also understand if they have adequate retirement income.
Research Long-Term Care Options
You should research ways to pay for long-term care if your parents need it. If your parents are in good health and still relatively young, they may want to consider purchasing a policy before it
Prepare an Estate Plan
If your parents do not have an estate plan, it’s
time to create one so that their wishes are met. Help them through this process, or find someone who can, including establishing a will, trust, advanced healthcare directives, and medical and durable powers of attorney.
Help get your parents’ financial assets in order by locating all important documents, including financial accounts, retirement accounts, wills, trusts, medical directives, powers of attorney, and digital assets.
Develop a College Savings Plan
As you switch the financial focus from your parents to your children, start by planning for their largest expense: their college educations. In addition to college savings, you should help your children plan for their life after high school. Engage your children in this process by having them research scholarships, grants, and work-study programs to assist with college expenses.
Because you are sandwiched between your parents and children and taking care of their needs, you may not have developed your own
financial plan. It is important that you take the time to put yourself first and get your own financial house in order.
Creating a financial plan with long- and short-term goals will give you peace of mind that your own financial life is on track. Once it is created, it will give you more time for the other competing priorities in your life.
When Adult Children Return Home
Adult children return home to live for a variety of reasons — they can’t find a job, they have too much debt to afford living alone, or they have divorced and need financial support. Use the situation to help reinforce basic financial concepts:
Charge rent. There are increased costs when your child returns home. Although you don’t have to charge a market rental rate, you should charge something. If you’re uncomfortable taking money from your child, put the rent money aside in a separate account and use it to help your child when he/she moves out. Also decide which chores your child is expected to perform.
Put your agreement in writing. While putting everything in writing may seem too businesslike,
it gives you an opportunity to clearly spell out your expectations and the rules of the house. This can prevent future misunderstandings.
If you would like more information or to discuss your financial concerns
Financial literacy scores rise during adulthood for accredited investors and begin declining after age 60, while financial literacy scores for non-accredited
investors are constant from young adulthood through middle age and decline after age 60. An accredited investor is one with an annual income over $200,000 ($300,000 for a married couple) or a net worth over $1 million excluding primary residences. (Source: AAII Journal, November 2019).
Approximately 25% of Americans receive financial planning assistance (Source: TD Ameritrade Institutional, 2019).
A recent study found that 43% of clients prefer human assistance over automation for daily financial activities, while 86% prefer brands that make it easy to
reach a real person (Source: Charles Schwab, 2019).
About 63% of consumers expect to conduct more of their financial business online within the next five years (Source: UMRA and Ernst & Young, 2019).
Approximately 51% of non-retired Americans project that they will be financially comfortable during retirement (Source: Gallup, 2019).