Are You Feeling Squeezed in the Middle?

by Robert DeVries

1 in every 8 Americans are in the Sandwich Generation

I see it more and more among my friends. Busy with raising their children and beginning to send them off to college, they are now dealing with issues around their parents aging. Some are even having their mom move in. So much for an empty nest!

Quite often, middle-aged Americans are helping two generations. According to the Pew Research Center, a Washington, DC think tank, 1 in every 8 Americans are raising a child and caring for a parent.

If this describes you, our wealth services firm in Satellite Beach, FL knows the demands on your time and money is considerable. Both children and parents are likely to need financial assistance and time, but generally, young adults are more likely to need capital and aging parents’ time and care.

Affluent Americans are more likely be in the Sandwich Generation. Of those with household incomes over $100,000, 43% support two generations (compared to only 25% of those between $30,000 and $100,000 in household income).

Caring for your parents

Supporting our parents will impact more and more of us soon. The US Census Bureau predicts that the number of Americans aged 65 or older will double by 2030. Communication is critical to have a successful outcome regarding parent care.  Recently Laura Chiesman, President of FirstWave Financial, wrote a blog, We Need To Talk, that suggests a simple conversation is an important beginning, outlines important documents to gather, and has a link to 6 great conversations.

Half of parents provide support for children 18+

27% of adults in their 40s to 50s provide primary support for their children who are over 18, while 48% (almost half) provide some support. Culturally, primary support for adult children is relatively new and is a result of the recession of 2009 and consequential economic sluggishness. The economy has greatly impacted young adults, who carry large student debt from college and experienced a greater drop in weekly earnings than other age groups.

How to balance the demands on your time and money? It all begins with a plan. Creating and updating a financial plan is an important step in prioritizing demands on your money. Other tips include setting parameters for the financial support of your adult children, including under what circumstances support would continue or end.

Our wealth services firm in Satellite Beach, FL has experience in helping families deal with the competing demands on resources and are happy to help you plan for being a member of the Sandwich Generation.