Financial concerns are at the top of the list for the sandwich generation. Think about it, not only are you concerned about your security (retirement, college, day to day life), now you must consider the short and long-term caregiving costs of your aging loved one. Sometimes, when the two worlds collide, it’s not pretty.
I wish we pre-planned. But, we didn’t. We were “thrown” into the ocean and have been going against the tide for a while. If you are in the ocean (or not), here are three tips for your financial process.
- Know your elder’s financial status
This means having a conversation about income, debt, and savings well before you need to manage financial affairs. If you’re past that point, it’s doable. But, a little more complex. You must access their financial records. Once you have access, you’re able to identify recurring bills, debt, and savings. You’re now able to assess their financial stability (or instability).
- Know your own financial status
Taking on the responsibility of caring for an elder, in some cases, means you will utilize part of your income to meet their needs. If you’re already struggling, this process can be difficult. There’s still hope. If finances are an issue, there are senior services available in every county. Contact the senior services organization and research supportive services. This can help alleviate some of the stress.
- Seek financial assistance
Seeking financial counseling from a knowledgeable and reputable source is ok. It beats beating your head against the wall. Be careful; there are plenty of scammers out there waiting to take advantage of your situation. Ask for referrals and contact your local aging organization for referrals. Interview potential advisors. They should be compassionate and not quick to have you sign paperwork. Trust your gut.
I know this is a difficult process. Often, this conversation is left for another day. But, I promise you, you will thank yourself for having the conversation early. You can’t deal with a problem that you don’t know exists. Meaning, you must bring it to the surface before a plan can be developed.
You can do! You must do it!
Live. Love. Laugh (even through the financial discussions 😊).