Prioritize Your Retirement Needs
Retirement savings should get priority ahead of putting money into your kids’ college funds. Your kids can take on loans for college, but there are no loans available to pay for your retirement. Prioritizing retirement savings ahead of paying for long-term care for your parents is necessary to prevent passing money problems from one generation to the next.
Communicate with Loved Ones
Part of the stress of being in the sandwich generation is feeling like the financial burdens of two generations are resting entirely on your shoulders. Communicating with your loved ones about what they can expect can help you draw important boundaries around what you’re able to offer them.
Ensure Adequate Insurance
Having adequate disability and life insurance in place is essential for those caring for aging parents and young children. With two generations counting on you, it’s crucial to have enough coverage to ensure your family will be okay if something happens to you.
Understand Government Programs
Spending time reading up on Social Security, Medicare, and other programs can help you to make better financial decisions for your parents and yourself. Knowing exactly what your parents (and eventually you) will be entitled to can help make sure you don’t leave money on the table or make decisions based on bad information.
Seek Support from Professionals and Your Network
Consider interviewing and hiring a financial adviser to help you make sense of the tough choices. Even if a traditional financial adviser isn’t in the cards for you, don’t forget that you can ask for help among your extended family and network of friends. Relying on your network means you’re less likely to burn out and make disordered financial decisions.