Are you part of the "Sandwich Generation," caring for aging relatives and raising children? Balancing these responsibilities can be financially challenging. Research from New York Life found that 51% of the Sandwich Generation have compromised their own financial security to support their loved ones. Here are six tips to help you manage this complex situation:
Start by developing a detailed budget that covers income, expenses, savings, and debt. Ensure it accounts for both your immediate family's needs and the costs associated with caregiving. This clear financial picture will guide your decisions.
Useful info: The ideal emergency fund has at least three to six months' worth of living expenses in a readily accessible savings account.
Take full advantage of your employer's benefits, such as retirement savings plans, health savings accounts (HSAs), and flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Ensure you contribute enough to receive any employer matching contributions – it's essentially free money. Explore additional caregiving and financial wellness benefits your employer may offer.
Useful info: Workplace benefits are often underutilized, so speaking to someone on your HR team is a good first step.
Safeguard your financial future with protection products like life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care insurance. These products provide critical support during unexpected events, protecting your family's financial well-being.
Useful info: 76% of Sandwich Generation members said their caregiving responsibilities prompted them to either purchase or consider these products, according to 2023 research from New York Life.
Don't hesitate to ask for help in your caregiving role. Reach out to family, friends, and community resources for assistance with daily caregiving tasks. On the financial front, consider consulting a trusted financial professional. They can create a tailored financial plan to ensure both your immediate family and aging relatives receive necessary financial support while aligning with your own financial goals.
Useful info: Building a network of support can lighten your load and provide emotional relief. According to New York Life research, 82% of Sandwich Generation members receive additional help with caregiving – with family members (49%) and friends (32%) being the most common sources.
While saving for retirement is crucial, ensure you also plan for retirement income. Diversify your retirement portfolio with income-generating assets like bonds, annuities, or dividend-paying stocks.
Useful info: Retirement income strategies such as Social Security optimization can help you maximize your benefits.
Caregiving is often a marathon not a sprint, so it’s important to protect your own financial, physical, and mental health on the journey. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup, so be sure to have regular discussions about your capacity and boundaries with adults you care for, your support network, and your trusted financial professional.
Useful info: Members of the Sandwich Generation agree caregiving is more difficult than expected across four key areas: financially (58%), emotionally (56%), socially (55%), and physically (54%), according to New York Life research.
Being a part of the Sandwich Generation can be demanding, but with the right financial strategies, you can remain resilient and continue to provide vital care to your loved ones. And remember that seeking professional financial guidance tailored to your specific situation is always a smart move. With careful planning and the right support, you can successfully balance your financial responsibilities and ensure a secure future for both your family and you.