How can the sandwich generation relieve financial stress?
Don’t worry too much if you haven’t heard, but April is National Stress Awareness Month. Of course, stress can present emotional and physical challenges to all of us, but if you belong to the “sandwich generation” – that is, you may be caring for aging parents while still supporting your own children – you may be facing some financial stress as well. What can you do to relieve it?
For one thing, be aware that you’re certainly not alone. About one in seven middle-aged adults is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child, according to the Pew Research Center.
Still, knowing that you have plenty of company won’t provide you with solutions for your own situation. So consider the following:
Suggest “downsizing.” Are your parents still paying a costly mortgage on a house that’s now too big for them? You might want to encourage them to think about downsizing. They may be
emotionally attached to their home, but they might benefit substantially if they moved someplace that’s less expensive.
Talk to parents about their income sources. Are your parents maximizing their Social Security payments? Are they following a sensible withdrawal strategy for their IRA, 401(k) or other retirement accounts? You may want to recommend that they work with a qualified financial professional.
Discuss all legal arrangements…
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