Dealing With Pressures of the “Sandwich Generation”

Baby-boomers aren’t called the sandwich generation for nothing. They knew they were going to have to provide for their own retirement and their children’s college education, but now they’re finding that they may have to shoulder the financial burden of their elderly parents’ final years as well. The pressure of providing for so many people at once can quickly become overwhelming, and using one’s own savings or retirement fund can begin to look like an easy solution to immediate financial concerns.

Don’t give in to the temptation to use your own savings, says in their recent article Don’t Let Midlife Pressure Squeeze Your Nest Egg. Before you give in to fear and drain your retirement, get some professional financial advice. It is possible to “navigate the financial layers and avoid being flattened . . . even when you’re close to or at retirement age, say experts. But it means preparation and discipline.”

One of the primary suggestions offered in the article, after discussing your situation with a qualified financial advisor, is to talk to your parents about their situation. “Topics should include income, needs, living trusts, revocable trusts, power of attorney, healthcare powers, estate planning and long-term care insurance.” 

Be prepared for your initial advances to be met with resistance, though. Aging parents often worry that they will lose control of their own finances, or that giving decision-making capacity to one child will lead to anger or hurt feelings among their other children. Instead of gearing up for a fight, what can be better for all concerned is to introduce your parents to qualified advisors. Knowing your parents have the counsel of a trusted Estate Planning Attorney or CPA can relieve you of the burden of responsibility and keep relationships smooth between siblings as well.

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