Category Archives: Sandwich generation

Managing the Added Costs of being in the Sandwich Generation

Life is all about stages. Closing the door to one stage opens up an entirely new set of opportunities. Entering the stage of parenthood comes with the knowledge that eventually your children will leave the nest, opening up a whole host of opportunities for you to undertake in your spare time, you remember all that free time pre-parenthood? Time to travel, discover new hobbies and relax. As your children continue making their way toward adulthood and that next stage is finally within grasp, members of the sandwich generation quickly see a new stage sidelining the one they thought they were headed for, one with very little free time.

Enter your parents, who are now living longer than ever before, and are in need of financial, emotional and physical help, much like the children you have spent the last 18 years raising. This new stage you are entering is hardly carefree and comes equipped with emotional baggage and added stressors.  Members of the Sandwich Generation are responsible for providing care at both ends of the spectrum of their family. Adult children care for their aging parents and relatives, while at the same time meeting the needs of their children and in some cases, grandchildren.

Many elderly are finding that their financial plans for retirement which accounted for 10-15 years were much too short as they live well into their 90s and exhaust their funds. The burden then lies on their adult children who also have to take into account their own retirement finances and their children’s financial needs. Aging increases the likelihood of developing certain types of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, Cancer, Diabetes or Cardiac/heart disease problems that many elderly did not allot treatment funds for. These scenarios are morphing from unique to usual.

If you are finding that your parents need assistance, the first thing sandwich generation members should do is sit down and have a frank discussion with their parents about their finances, as uncomfortable as this may be. You need to discover their sources of income and expenses as well as their assets and liabilities. Once you know where they stand, you will be better able to help them and yourself.

  1. Let your parents know that unnecessary expenses (like extravagant gifts for the grandchildren) are unwarranted. Your parents may need to cut back on the money they spend and evaluate their spending habits to determine where they can save a little money.
  2. Look over their insurance coverage and deductibles for property, long-term care and prescription drugs to make sure they have the correct coverage and are not paying too much for it.
  3. Your parents may benefit from re-evaluating their unnecessary whole life insurance policies with built-up cash value. Look into a 1035 tax-free exchange to an immediate fixed annuity for extra cash flow.
  4. It may also be time to tap the value of their home. Downsizing or selling their house can exclude up to $500,000 in capital gains from taxes for married couples filing jointly and $250,000 for singles. By selling their home and moving in with others, or selling the home to family members so they can remain in the home, they will free up a lot of extra cash.

If you are part of the sandwich generation, you have a lot on your plate. Finding the funds to support your aging parents is no easy task, and you should not be saddled with all the extra costs. While the new stage of life you have entered may not be exactly what you were anticipating, it is important to keep your funds intact so that you can survive the next stage of life, which may finally include relaxation.

Sandwich Generation: Staying Healthy

The Sandwich Generation is the generation of people caught between caring for their aging parents as well as their own children. Thousands of families across the country are affected by this situation. It can be very stressful and hard on the individuals both mentally and physically. These stresses can cause those affected to gain weight and carry on an unhealthy lifestyle.

With the responsibility of caring for two different generations many people find it hard to find time to care for their own health. The combination of having less time and more stress and responsibility causes many people to put their own health and fitness on the back burner. This can result in weight gain and other health problems. These health issues can be avoided with proper time management and being able to take time for yourself.

One of the main things to remember is to some time to care for yourself.  You might feel overwhelmed in this generation squeeze but you must be able to step back and give yourself some ‘you’ time. We all need time for ourselves to do some things we love and get away from the everyday stresses of life. So give yourself a couple of hours a day to go to the gym or go for a walk or bike ride through your neighborhood. This will both relieve a lot of stress and also this exercise will give you more energy throughout the day.

It’s also really important to eat the right foods. Healthier eating will help to manage your weight and give you more energy. I know it can be difficult to find time in your busy day to cook a healthy meal with your busy schedule but there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re eating a healthy diet. One thing you can do is prepare meals ahead of time. During a Saturday or Sunday you can plan your meals for the week. Cook these meals ahead of time so you can just reheat and serve. This saves time and relieves one more stress you have. Also it’s a good idea to have fresh fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator for easy healthy snacking. Fruits and vegetables are easy to grab and go and you won’t have the temptation to stop at the local drive through.

It is possible to care for your parents and children and also give yourself the attention you deserve. Don’t let the generation squeeze effect your health and quality of life. Use these tips to help work through the stress and responsibility of living in the Sandwich Generation.

Saving For College

Being a member of the sandwich generation can put you at a disadvantage financially as you are strapped
between both dependent parents and children. This unfortunate financial situation is only further compounded by the fact that most baby boomers would like to send their children off to college. As fall steadily approaches and thousands of children prepare to leave the nest and head off for higher education how will you cope with the added financial burden?

Nearly 10 million baby boomers between the ages of 41 and 60 find themselves stretched to the limit
financially during a critical time period in their life when saving for retirement should be of utmost importance. Continue reading

Sandwich Generation Month

In the Caregiving world July is called Sandwich Generation Month. Every July we like to commemorate and celebrate the dedication, patience, and caring of those adults who are part of the Sandwich Generation. For these strong individuals every single day comes with new challenges. So we would like to celebrate and raise awareness for all they do for the ones they love.

The Sandwich generation is the generation that has the task of caring for their aging parents along with supporting their own children. This time can be very stressful for those who are part of it. Every day presents new challenges for the Sandwich Generation and these people work very hard to ensure the safety and care of their loved ones.

This Month we would like to take the opportunity to raise awareness and provide help for those who are part of the Sandwich Generation. You can find links on our blog along with tips posted on our Twitter and Facebook page throughout the month. If you are a member of the Sandwich Generation just know that you aren’t alone. Don’t let your responsibilities consume you. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help as Life Fone and other people around the world would love to give you tips and resources to make you lives easier and less stressful.

Financial Planning for the Sandwich Generation

Over ten million baby boomers are currently strapped with the costs of raising children or supporting an adult child while also providing financial support to an aging parent, according to a Pew Research Center Report. With the addedexpenditures and financial strains, many baby boomers are financially drained and unable to save for retirement.

By administering just a few advance planning procedures, however, baby boomers can better equip themselves to manage added expenses without the risk of siphoning away their life savings. Continue reading

Financial Planning for the Sandwich Generation

Over ten million baby boomers are currently strapped with the costs of raising children or supporting an adult child while also providing financial support to an aging parent, according to a Pew Research Center Report. With the addedexpenditures and financial strains, many baby boomers are financially drained and unable to save for retirement.

By administering just a few advance planning procedures, however, baby boomers can better equip themselves to manage added expenses without the risk of siphoning away their life savings. Continue reading

How Caring for Your Kids Differs From Caring for Your Parents

Almost 10 million baby boomers are housing both their children and elderly parent(s) under the same roof. Accomplishing such a feat requires an understanding of how to manage both tasks. Undertaking both roles is a challenge, since children and elderly parents have different needs and require different strategies when it comes to providing care. While ‘how to’ books for raising children and being a caregiver to your elderly parent abound, there is not much information available distinguishing the primary differences between the two caregiving roles and how to manage both at once.

How parents and children differ:

  1. Taking Charge: With children the authority figure is obvious, but the line gets a little fuzzier with your parents. Children spend their lives being told what to do by their parents, so caregivers often feel as though they are overstepping their boundaries by telling their parents what to do. When it comes to your parent’s health and end of life decisions however, it is imperative to plan ahead with your parents and convince them to get all of their finances and legal documents together so if a power of attorney is needed,  you can speak legally and financially on their behalf.
  2. Emotions: The emotions associated with raising a child often evoke joy, fulfillment and satisfaction. Caring for a parent usually leads to feelings of remorse, guilt and sadness. Oftentimes caregivers are not fully prepared for the roller coaster of emotions their caregiver role puts them through. Having grown up being cared for by your parents, it is hard to accept the sudden role reversal combined with their declining health. It is important to share your feelings with family and friends to cope with your emotions.
  3. Aging: The aging process for children is pretty predictable as they reach certain benchmarks with each age. The aging process with the elderly is more uncertain as their health can deteriorate at the drop of a hat, not knowing what is coming next or what lies ahead creates a different mentality when it comes to adult aging.
  4. Confrontation: Confronting your parent or participating in a debate with them is not as cut and dry as it can be with your children. If you find it hard to reach common ground with your parent don’t hesitate to consult a geriatric counselor. Oftentimes parents are more willing to listen to an objective third party. Asking their doctors to speak with them is also beneficial.
  5. Financial: Bringing a parent into your household leads to unplanned financial strain. While some seniors have prepared for the costs associated with aging, many others find themselves burdened by unexpected illness. As you are simultaneously saving for children’s college, this burden can be a lot to handle.

Being a caregiver is no easy task, but being prepared to handle situations as they arise makes the job a lot more manageable. Stay prepared, informed and organized and you will be able to embrace the fact that three generations are living under one roof!

I have too many responsibilities!

With age comes great responsibility!  And of course, this sandwich generation has a great deal of responsibility!  Many may still be working fulltime or part-time, trying to finish a thirty year mortgage while also helping their children finish school and taking care of loved ones!  Will the responsibilities ever stop?

The Society for Human Resource Management claims that one out of every five full time employees provides care for an older relative and nearly three-quarters of these employees have children under the age of 18 as well. That doesn’t mean you have any official licensure or professional medical training. More likely, you’re a family member without any special training, gifts or abilities.  How does that compound the stress of everyday life?   For most it adds one more dynamic to an already overwhelming and chaotic life. Trying to maintain a solid family life, paying the bills, worrying about the increase in your mortgage rate and paying for college text books can add extreme tensions and stress.

In the 8th Annual MetLife Study of Employee Benefits Trends by MetLife, some very astounding numbers were uncovered!

Those who say they live paycheck to paycheck:

42% of employees with children but no elder caregiving responsibilities

64% for those who are also caregivers.

Those who fear they can’t afford to buy a home:

37% of employees with children but no elder caregiving responsibilities

74% for those who are also caregivers

Those who worry about affording college for their children:

55% of employees with children but no elder caregiving responsibilities

72% for those who are also caregivers.

Surprised?  If you’re in the sandwich generation, these numbers only confirm what they already know.  Finding a way to take control is key and sometimes an impossible task.

Ask for help.  Find quality time with friends.  Women, in particular, need quality time with friends to unwind and relax. Take a moment of quiet time each day to express the love and thanks for what you do have in life; you will never be able to make that time up.  And remember, Breathe!

I’m officially in the sandwich generation!

As you get to a certain age, the things you worry about drastically change. Think about a ten year old; what are they worrying about?  This may be a generalization but at ten, top worries are probably the three F’s; friends, food and fun. Fast forward to the age range of fifteen to twenty, new interests arise. Thoughts center around the opposite sex, Facebook, cell phones and computers, and of course, what they are going to do on the weekend.

Speed forward at alarming rates and suddenly you’re fifty! Your friends and family throw you an over-the-hill party which makes it all the more real! Thoughts have turned toward retirement, and you worry about how your kids are doing in school or in their career, about grand kids and how you’re going to regain the money you lost in your portfolio due to a draining economy. Health becomes even more of a concern than ever before. You hear people saying, “I can’t hit the golf ball as far as I could when I was younger” or, “I can’t take steps like I used to”.  You realize that your body just isn’t as young as it used to be yet your responsibilities  don’t seem to recognize any limitations!  You may have children or grandchildren on one hand and parents who need to be monitored or cared for full-time on the other.  Double duty when you were hoping for things to slow down. What happened to “empty-nest”?

Overall, the health of the sandwich generation is affected by these worries and concerns. Worry and stress can create all kinds of long-term problems. You may experience:

  • Pain of any kind
  • Heart disease
  • Digestive problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Skin conditions, such as eczema

Keep an eye out for these problems. It’s not embarrassing if these symptoms arise; you have a lot on your plate.  Take good care of yourself!  A simple step that may help you reduce stress in the home of a loved one primarily able live alone is to provide a 24 hour emergency monitoring system. This helps provide peace of mind when you aren’t around. Being prepared can be one of the most beneficial, rewarding and stress saving ideas you may ever have. Remember, becoming sick not only take a toll on your mind and body but your loved ones as well.

The over-50s facing work till they’re 80

The ‘sandwich generation’: Over-50s face work till they’re 80 to pay for elderly parents and struggling children

By Becky Barrow

Last updated at 9:49 AM on 16th November 2010

Around 900,000 people currently over the age of 50 fear they will retire ‘well into their 70s over even 80s’, an alarming study reveals today.The report highlights the nightmare facing a generation of people with no savings, little or no pension and a super-size mortgage.As a result of their poor finances, they have no choice but to keep on working at an age when they had hoped to be relaxing, travelling and enjoying time with their grandchildren. Working for longer: A new study shows many over 50s will have to work past pension ageDubbed the ‘sandwich generation’, they are also having to spend a fortune on their elderly parents’ care and living costs and helping their children onto the property ladder.The research follows the Government’s decision to increase the state pension age, currently just over 60 for women and 65 for men.The report, from the mutual financial services firm LV, asked adults over the age of 50 when they expect to retire.


via The over-50s facing work till they’re 80 | Mail Online.