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Long term care planning and the 'sandwich generation'

Many middle-aged adults in New Jersey these days find themselves part of the "sandwich generation" -- raising children while simultaneously caring for their aging parents. While these may be acts of love, it does take money. An elderly individual may have medical conditions that must be attended to and they may need help with basic daily activities. Some people may have planned on using Medicaid to meet some of these expenses, but when the time comes may find out their loved one is not eligible for Medicaid. When that happens, what other means do people have to pay for the care of an aging loved one?

One option if their loved one is no longer living on their own is to hold an estate sale. In this sale, they can sell possessions their loved one will not need anymore, such as furniture and household goods. This can provide cash on hand, and can reduce the size of their loved one's estate. Similarly, selling their loved one's home if they are no longer living there or automobiles if they no longer need them can also provide one with the finances needed to care for their loved one.

In addition, if their loved one has any investments, these may be of help as well. A person could decide to cash in their investments or they might choose to sell them over time, amplifying their earnings. If a person decides to do this, it can help to work with a professional who can advise on how to proceed in a way that will meet their loved one's needs.

When it comes to care options, people with aging loved ones have options. Some may open their home to their loved one. Having their loved one live with them and receiving in-home care is much less expensive than a nursing home would be. However, this does place a burden on an individual to see that their loved one is cared for. Sometimes siblings or other loved ones can contribute financially and otherwise to their loved one's care.

Those in the "sandwich generation" have a lot on their plate. Raising children and caring for an aged loved one while still meeting their own financial needs is not always easy. It may help for people in the "sandwich generation" to speak to an elder law professional, who can help them with long-term care planning.

Source:, "Financial Tips for Sandwich Generation Caregivers," Dana Larsen, Aug. 29, 2015

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