Pressure from both directions
People sometimes approach my fellow financial advisors and me because they feel caught in the middle.
People sometimes approach my fellow financial advisors and me because they feel caught in the middle. Are you one of them? Retirement is on the horizon and you’re trying to get ready, but you’re also coping with financial demands from generations on both sides.
You’re helping your children with college and/or living expenses and supporting your aging parents, whose cost of living sometimes exceeds their limited financial resources. The term often used for people in this situation is “the sandwich generation.”
Members of the sandwich generation can find it challenging to take care of their own financial needs, including saving for retirement.
Prepare yourself for the three-headed monster of college, retirement and concerns about aging parents with some financial planning.
- Review your financial goals regularly, making sure you are able to accommodate unexpected events.
- Control your debt. Be cautious in taking on more debt and consider paying down as much debt as you can.
- Invest in your own future by contributing to your retirement savings.
- Talk to your kids about realistic college expectations.
- Talk to your parents about provisions they’ve made for the future. Do they have long-term care insurance? Adequate retirement income? Learn the whereabouts of their documents and get a list of the people they rely on for advice and support.
- If you have children who’ve moved back in with you, share your expectations with them, too. Don’t be afraid to discuss a target date for their departure.
If you take some time now to determine your goals and work on a flexible plan, you could save much stress – and expense – in years to come.
S. Eric Schroll, CFP®, RICP®, is a Financial Advisor in the Everence® office in Hartville, Ohio.