Navigating the Financial Challenges of Being a Member of the "Sandwich Generation

Navigating the Financial Challenges of Being a Member of the "Sandwich Generation:

The "Sandwich Generation" refers to individuals who are caring for both their kids and aging parents at the same time. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly half of adults in their 40s and 50s fall under this category, having a parent over 65 and either raising a young child or having an adult child move back home. Additionally, an AARP survey shows that 32% of midlife adults provide financial support to their parents and 51% continue to assist their adult children with basic living expenses.

In part one of this discussion, we'll focus on adult children who have moved back home or never left. These individuals, referred to as "boomerangs" or having a "failure to launch", may be returning home due to job loss, divorce, a disability, lack of affordable housing, college debt, or other reasons.

As a parent, you may be approaching retirement or have recently retired, and your once empty nest is now filled once again. To ease the emotional and financial stress, consider the following tips:

  • Prioritize your financial future: Your adult child may need help, but it's important to think about the impact this will have on your finances and retirement plans. Don't forget that there is no "financial aid" for retirement, and it's crucial to save for your own future. If you have to choose, make your retirement security a priority and determine how much you can assist your child after paying for your own expenses.
  • Encourage your adult child to contribute: Additional expenses come with having someone move back home, but your child can help by contributing to household expenses if they are able to. Have a family discussion about expectations, and if your child has a job, encourage them to create a budget and contribute to groceries, rent, and other expenses
  • Teach financial responsibility: Living at home is a great opportunity to teach your adult child how to budget and manage their finances wisely. Encourage them to pay for things that are individually theirs, such as their cell phone plan, car insurance and gas, loans, credit card bills, and discretionary purchases. The goal is to help them become financially secure and independent

Remember, these are just suggestions and it's important to determine what works best for your family's situation. In our next blogpost, we'll discuss ways to manage the financial burden of caring for aging parents