Tips to Thrive in a Sandwich Generation

One in every eight Americans between the ages of 40 to 60 is “sandwiched” between raising a child and caring for a parent, which may cause financial strain. If you are a part of this generation, here are some tips that can help you thrive in this situation:

  1. Talk to your loved ones. Sit down with your loved ones and be proactive about your finances. Gather everything: your loved one’s income, assets and liabilities. Once you have a clear understanding of your parents’ financial situation, talk about your finances with your kids. It will make it easier when it is their turn, and will also help them understand why you may not be able to buy certain things.
  2. Consider tax breaks. You may be able to claim your parents as dependents for tax purposes if you meet certain qualifications. Even if you can’t claim your parents as dependents because of the gross income limit, you may still be able to itemize and deduct their medical expenses. Be sure to consult with your tax adviser to learn about your options.
  3. Ask for help. A certified financial adviser can help with the big issues like retirement, college or estate planning. Additionally, they can help you prepare and gather the necessary documents to care for your parents, such as a Will and Power of Attorney.
  4. Don’t forget about yourself. You may feel exhausted spending your time and money caring for and supporting your children and parents. Be sure to take time out for yourself to do things you enjoy. Financially, make sure to maintain a savings or retirement account. This will help break the cycle and keep your children from being a part of the next sandwich generation.