Are You A Better Planner Than Your Parents?

Nearly 1 out of every 5 people between age 30-50 fall into the “Sandwich” generation. This means they’re responsible for bringing up their own children and for the care of their aging parents.

While these people may have spent endless time and energy getting their finances in order, preparing for their children’s college expenses and eventual retirement, their parents didn’t.  And while many parents don’t want to get into too many details about their finances with their adult kids, it is the adult kids who are left with the mess. Many adults have an inkling their parents haven’t planned well or in some cases have no plan and while it may be an akward topic to bring up you need to bring it up!!

If you don’t it could be your plan that is derailed because you and your parents chose to bury your heads in the sand instead of getting on the same page. The result of discussing it may still be that you help financially support your parents but by having the conversation you will reduce more of the unknowns. The earlier the better. Addressing these topics before your parents need care, while they may still be working means that they still have time to create their own plan and you have more time to get ready for the financial commitment you are taking on.

See these stats below from the Pew research Center http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/01/30/the-sandwich-generation/

  • Nearly half, or 47%, of adults in their 40s-50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child (age 18 or older)
  • About one-in-seven middle-aged adults, or 15%, is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child
  • Roughly half, or 48%, of adults ages 40-59 have provided some financial support to at least one grown child in the past year, with 27% providing the primary support
  • About one-in-five middle-aged adults, or 21%, have provided financial support to a parent age 65 or older in the past year
  • Among all adults with at least one parent age 65 or older, 30% say their parent or parents need help to handle their affairs or care for themselves
  • Among all adults with a living parent age 65 or older, 35% say that their parent or parents frequently rely on them for emotional support and 33% say their parents sometimes rely on them for emotional support.

These are general statements and may not apply to your individual situation. You should always consult your CPA, Investment Advisor or other professional to see how this relates to you.