The Sandwich Generation
Many Baby Boomers finds themselves “sandwiched” between adult children and aging parents, two generations with often competing needs for emotional and economic support. So how to manage?
Financial columnist Terry Savage provides some advice in a recent article in the Chicago Sun-Times:
Face reality That is, you might be helping your parents for the rest of their lives, and it might be a while until your adult kids find a job.
Make a plan — and share it It does no good to pretend that things are really the same, for anyone in this sandwich.
Create priorities For sure, your everyday lifestyle will change when you take on the responsibility of another generation. But you must take an honest look at whose needs come first.
Top priority – yourself Keeping your own ship afloat is the top priority, without which and despite all your good intentions, you can’t help anyone else
Have a family discussion After you’ve sorted out your priorities and taken a realistic look at the available money, sit down at the kitchen table and share your worries — and your hopes..
For those fortunate families not caught in the generational squeeze Ms. Savage suggests extending a helping hand to a family who is struggling:
And even showing your concern in a small way will be a big help — dropping off a basket of groceries, offering to drive a senior to a doctor’s appointment, or giving a low-paying entry job at your company to a neighbor’s struggling graduate.
Questions on the Health Care Bill
The health care bill that went into effect this month helps many families with uninsured adult children but it also raises many questions. Several newspapers including USA Today and the Wall Street Journal offer answers.
For parents whose children are on college health insurance plans there may be more gaps than you realize. In How College Health Plans Are Failing Students, the Journal noted:
The upshot: Students are often much less insured than they think they are. In extreme cases high-school seniors with health issues might be advised to consider a college’s health plan before attending.
Apparently most college plans exclude many of the stipulations mandated by the new law.
Universal Adult Children Care???
The Scandinavian countries are often touted as providing the ideal situation for working parents: long-term paid maternity and paternity leave and subsidized day care.
So it’s fascinating to note that a new study by the Nordea financial group found that about 20 percent of 18-29-year-olds are still living at home, and that the majority is enjoying the lifestyle rent free.
Not so easy to get them out the door now that they are adults!