BY RICHARD BLOOM
In today’s fast-paced world, life can be hectic – especially if you’re among the growing number of adults caught in the middle known as the sandwich generation. According to the T. Rowe Price 2019 Parents, Kids & Money Survey, more than one in three parents with kids between the ages of 8 and 14 is also caring for an aging family member. Of those, nearly 70% have an aging parent or relative living under the same roof.1 Being a dual caregiver can cause emotional stress and even financial strain, but planning ahead and seeking out the support you need can help you find – and maintain – your balance.
Here are some tips for living – and thriving in – the sandwich life.
1. Simplify where possible.
Simplifying your finances is a good first step in knowing exactly where you stand in terms of being able to afford your own retirement and still support your kids and parents. Many of us have our money spread across multiple bank accounts, brokerage accounts and even retirement accounts. Consolidating these accounts may make it easier for you to manage your financial life, removing a layer of stress and potentially making your assets work more efficiently, guided by a cohesive investment strategy.
2. Break the ice on family finances.
In many families, money is a taboo topic. But as your parents age and your children grow up–and sometimes boomerang back to the nest–having frank conversations about the family finances is a must. Take the brave step of asking your parents about their finances and how they would like their affairs to be handled if they are no longer able to make important decisions about their money or health. And talk to your children about your expectations when it comes to what you will pay for and what you expect them to pitch in. This is especially important if your grown-up children move back in with you.
3. Don’t be afraid to delegate.
You don’t need to shoulder all of the responsibility alone. Whether it’s finding a reliable babysitter for your kids, a trusted caregiver for your aging family member or someone to help around the house, delegating to others can help to ease the load. Talk to you kids about chipping in with household chores, or share caregiving responsibilities with a sibling. If you need outside help, ask family members and neighbors for recommendations or referrals. There are also websites and agencies that can help you with finding good care.
4. Explore all your options.
In addition to parental leave benefits, an increasing number of employers are offering caregiver support as part of their benefits package. You may also be able to talk to your employer about flexible work arrangements.
According to the Home Care Association of America and the Global Coalition on Aging, 70% of adults over age 65 will require assistance with their daily activities at some point.2 Nursing home stays or in-home care can be expensive, and another option to consider is long-term care insurance.
5. Take care of yourself.
You want to give your all to the people who rely on you. But, remember, in order to provide the best possible care for your kids and your parents, you need to be at your best. That means carving out time to recharge your physical, emotional and mental batteries so you can make the time you give to your family more meaningful and effective. Just as flight attendants remind you to put on your own oxygen mask first in the event of a loss in cabin pressure, prioritizing yourself is sometimes part of maximizing your ability to help those around you.
Whatever challenges you face, working with a Financial Advisor who understands your circumstances and priorities can help you formulate a plan that is designed to safeguard not just your finances, but also your family.
1. Money Confident Kids. 2019 Parents, Kids & Money Survey Results.
2. Home Care Association of America and Global Coalition on Aging. Caring for America’s Seniors: The Value of Home Care. Available here.
Article by Morgan Stanley and provided courtesy of Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor.
Richard Bloom is a Financial Advisor in 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104 at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”). He can be reached by email at Richard.Bloom@morganstanley.com or by telephone at (212) 893-7597.
This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. The information and data in the article has been obtained from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley makes no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or data from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. It does not provide individually tailored investment advice and has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. The strategies and/or investments discussed in this article may not be suitable for all investors. Morgan Stanley recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a Financial Advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors and Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning, charitable giving, philanthropic planning and other legal matters.
Richard Bloom may only transact business, follow-up with individualized responses, or render personalized investment advice for compensation, in states where he is registered or excluded or exempted from registration, http://brokercheck.finra.org/Search/Search.aspx.
© 2019 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. CRC2836810 12/2019