Statistics from the Pew Research Center indicate that nearly half of adults in the 40s and 50s find themselves at the center of the Sandwich Generation. But experts at US News & World Report suggest a few tweaks to our plans can make everything manageable, without sacrificing our own retirement needs.
Adjust Student Expectations
College expenses can be reduced in a number of ways, including:
- Applying for scholarships and student loans – but caution them about relying too much on debt they’ll have to pay back after they graduate. Georgia College 411 makes this process much easier than when we went to college.
- Consider an in-state school or community college, at least for the first year or two.
- Help your young adults learn to manage money through budget planning, sharing expenses, and setting long-term goals. It may be worthwhile to set an appointment with your financial advisor (information is more readily digested when it comes from a neutral third party!)
Assess Parent Needs
- Does your parent require round-the-clock care for a medical condition? In this case, an assisted living or nursing facility may be necessary.
- Does your parent need help only occasionally? Perhaps it would make sense for them to down-size to a maintenance-free home or apartment.
- Is it feasible for them to move in with you? Combining households takes some getting used to, but can be a winning proposition for all parties in the long run.
- Weigh every option in terms of potential personality conflicts, space constraints, and health issues before coming to a conclusion.
Speak With Your Financial Advisor
If you are the primary caretaker or financial custodian for a student or parent, there may be tax credits for which you are eligible.
Take Time for Yourself
In a growing household – particularly one in which everyone has their own routines, opinions, and habits – it is easy to “lose” yourself as you assume the role of caregiver. But remember that everyone can contribute to household maintenance (even if it’s just their own space), you don’t have to be a super hero, and taking time to socialize with friends and maintain your own hobbies and interests is imperative to your wellness.
At Windsong, we design homes with an active lifestyle in mind. We understand the need for open space, lots of natural light, connection with the outdoors, and a place to get away from it all, and our homes and communities offer these amenities and more, regardless of family make-up.
Welcome home to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!