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Whether it’s financial, physical or emotional support, you might be trying to provide care to two generations at once, which can put prioritizing your needs (financial or otherwise) on the back-burner. How do you decide who comes first?
If you find yourself caught in the middle of caring for your adult children while simultaneously caring for aging parents, you are part of the “Sandwich Generation”. Whether it’s financial, physical or emotional support, you might be trying to provide care to two generations at once, which can put prioritizing your needs (financial or otherwise) on the back-burner. How do you decide who comes first?
Begin with you: No one wants to be a burden on their family, so by ensuring you are financially stable first, you allow yourself to show up better for your loved ones. Partner with a trusted financial advisor to put a strategic retirement plan in place, maximize your retirement saving options and consider purchasing long-term care insurance if it makes sense for your situation.
Next, focus on parents: After securing your own retirement plan, you can then turn your attention toward reviewing elder care options for your parents. Get a full scope of all available assets for your parents’ care, consult with a financial advisor regarding further funding options if needed and discuss sharing caregiving duties with other family members who have the capability to help.
Lastly, concentrate on kids: If you’re looking to provide financial assistance to your kids, weigh your options and what might make the most sense for your family. For college tuition support, consider the advantages of utilizing a 529 plan. Or, discuss the pros and cons of leveraging a college loan, but be open with your child or children regarding repayment responsibilities and how you foresee that working.
Secure a safe (retirement) landing: As they say in the airline industry, you should put your own oxygen mask on first. It’s hard to watch your loved one’s struggle, but sometimes, that’s the best thing for them; and, at the very least, you’ll be in a better position to help them over the long-run.