The Sandwich Generation: Caring for Parents and Children Simultaneously

Skip Riley |

As the U.S. population continues to age, the “sandwich generation” is caught in the middle, supporting both their parents and their children, whether financially, physically, or emotionally. This generation is the middle-aged generation supporting the baby boomer generation—now the largest generation ever.

According to research by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, by 2035, one in three heads of households will be someone age 65 and older. The American population will have one in five people age 65 or older, increasing by 30 million people over the next thirty years.

As our population ages, the cost of affordable care and accessible services will continue to grow, and many will find taking care of their parents the only reasonable option. The cost of care tends to impact those taking care of their aging parents as their incomes are at stake due to reduced work hours or leaving the workforce.

Taking care of aging parents takes planning.

While you never know what your parent’s needs may be as they age, the first step is thinking about what help they may need in the future. Do they have health issues now? Will there be a progression of their illness over time requiring special care or modification of their home? Health problems can make it hard for someone to care for themselves as they age.

While many seniors may plan to stay in their own homes, they may need to rely on their adult children to help them with:

  • Personal care
  • Household chores
  • Money management
  • Meals
  • Healthcare
  • Getting around/transportation
  • Staying active and maintaining friendships

It's possible to get almost any type of care at home but at a cost. Health care is one of the highest expenses a family will have, especially as health issues arise. An aging parent may need to downsize to a smaller home, live in an assisted living facility, or a long-term care facility. Long-term care insurance (LTCI) can help with the cost of care, but for families that haven't planned for the care of their aging parent, the premiums may be too costly, requiring the family members to provide most of the care.

If taking care of aging family members is your situation, check into home health care in your region. It's important to understand how health care costs, including long-term care, may impact your aging parents' finances.  If you plan to help your parents as they age and require care, it’s important to discuss your intention with your family and financial professional and start planning to make it possible.

Important Disclosures:

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Please keep in mind that insurance companies alone determine insurability and some people may be deemed uninsurable because of health reasons, occupation, and lifestyle choices. Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing company.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

This article was prepared by Fresh Finance.

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