People in the sandwich generation are those who are caring for aging parents as well as children, either minors or young adults. People 45 to 65 years old tend to make up this generation, and the task of balancing their caregiving responsibilities along with work and emotional fulfillment can be immense.
So, if you find yourself in this generation, what are some of the top issues you are likely to face?
For one, there is estate planning, which can mean difficult conversations with your parents about preparing for the possibility of long-term care and what they want to happen to their assets. This stage provides a good opportunity to learn about Medicaid regulations and how your family can preserve the maximum amount of your parents’ assets if they ever need to enter nursing care.
You should also undertake your own estate planning. This becomes particularly important if you have minor children. After all, you want to ensure they are taken care of legally and financially in case you die. If you are getting married or remarried at this time in your life, estate planning is also a great idea.
Perhaps more than anything else, estate planning is the one step you can take to reduce the mental and emotional toll of being in the sandwich generation. Having that uncertainty removed and knowing what to expect does wonders for your peace of mind.
Time for everything
Another big issue is likely to be finding time for everything. For example, you might be working full time while wanting to go to your kids’ sports games and visiting your parents whenever possible. You may not think going part time at work is an option, as you anticipate having to pay for college for your kids, for your parents’ nursing home care or for your retirement down the road. Again, estate planning can help clarify what exactly you might be in a position to do.