Financial Planning for the Sandwich Generation

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The 'sandwich generation' are those who care for aging parents while supporting their own children–a situation that may complicate one’s financial future.

Start with a plan

If you're part of the sandwich generation, develop a realistic plan that outlines the caregiving income, expenses, and who'll be on your 'support team' to assist and help keep you grounded and focused during stressful situations. A family meeting with everyone involved may help set a positive atmosphere and lay groundwork for transparency, cooperation, and collaboration.

It's best to plan well in advance, especially the financial aspects outlined below because if you don't take care of your financial future, it'll be difficult to help others. You can contact a Huntington Financial Advisor at any time to discuss how to start financial planning for your family.

Gather information

Determine the income and expenses for all involved to get a baseline of what to expect. The estimated monthly bottom line will help in prioritizing, and if possible, expand services, or if necessary, reduce or eliminate.

Start with your situation:

  • Income
  • Retirement investing/savings
  • Everyday expenses
  • Potential significant expenses, like a new refrigerator or new roof
  • Major purchase goals, such as a European vacation

Your parents:

  • Categorize their expenses by essential and discretionary, and what they can and cannot cover
  • Try to match their expenses to specific income resources, such as a pension, Social Security or VA benefits
  • Your siblings or other relatives may be considered possible financial-support options
  • Re-evaluate financial planning for your aging parents as their health, caregiver responsibilities, and caregiver situations change.

Your children:

  • Categorize those expenses in your direct control such as day care, and out of your control, such as college tuition
  • For older children, stress the importance of achieving financial independence
  • Have a frank discussion with your kids about the impact their living at home creates

Check in to stay grounded and on course.

The responsibility for others may be exhausting and sometimes frustrating for someone in the sandwich generation, so don't try to go it alone. Recruit family and friends who can help with the various levels of day-to-day care, from cooking and cleaning to driving to doctor appointments.

Stay the course...until you shouldn't. As factors change–and they will–reevaluate your plan and strategy. Keep the lines of communication open between all stakeholders, especially when changes are implemented. The fewer surprises for those involved, the more likely they are to continue providing support.

For 35 years, Huntington Financial Advisors have been providing prompt, personal service to clients like you for moments that matter. We offer meaningful advice and can create a plan that is designed to focus on your key priorities to help achieve your goals. Call Huntington's Advisory Resource Group at 800-530-1690 to learn more or use Advisor Connect to find an advisor who's a good match for your unique position.

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