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a blog from your Wealth Management Advisors at Kirtland Financial Services.

Sandwich Generation: Watch Out for These Costly Financial Pitfalls

By Kirtland Financial Services

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The sandwich generation is generally defined as middle-aged individuals aged 40 to 60 (Generation X) sandwiched between aging parents, adult children, and grandchildren. Because members of the sandwich generation have been in the workforce for a while, they may be somewhat financially stable and, therefore, face some costly financial pitfalls when it comes to family. If you are part of the sandwich generation, four significant challenges you may be facing or could face in the future and potential solutions for navigating the sandwich generation’s financial balancing act.

You have financial caregiver burnout

According to Forbes, on average, 48% of adults within the sandwich generation provide some financial support to their grown children, while 27% are their primary support. Also, 25% are supporting their parents financially. In some cases, people are providing financial assistance to both children and parents at the same time. As healthcare and medicine have improved, parents are living longer, and with soaring cost of living and inflation and a seemingly perpetually volatile market, struggling children are forced to move back home or ask for monetary assistance.

Members of the sandwich generation are finding themselves in financial limbo, dealing with the pressure of managing their own lives while helping aging parents who are running low on money and their children who are finding it difficult to support themselves in the modern age. You may have to take time away from work, which could put stress on your career advancement and interfere with your job overall. Not only will you worry about helping those you love, but it could also disrupt your ability to earn a living.

Potential solutions: Be open and honest with your family about your concerns. Seek the help of a financial professional to help you create a manageable strategy, but care for yourself first. It is critical that you keep your own financial goals on track so that you can work to mitigate the risk of following in your parents’ financial footsteps.

You haven't modified your budget

You may have created a budget for yourself and your spouse as you near retirement, so you will be ready when that time comes. However, you may not have considered unexpected expenses such as caring for aging parents or helping children who find it challenging to make their own way in the world. Take the time to modify your budget as your life changes around you. It is easy to put it off, intending to alter your budget to fit these new, unexpected expenses in due time, but we live busy lives, and forgetting to do so can be costly.

Potential solution:  Take the proactive steps of scheduling an appointment with a financial professional. This will help you revise your budget now, giving you a sense of control over your financial situation and understanding how each decision could impact your long-term goals.

You don't have an emergency fund

One financial pitfall that is often overlooked is having an emergency fund that can cover anywhere from six months to even a year’s worth of expenses should an event occur that you weren’t anticipating.

Potential solution: It might feel like you are accomplishing little when you put $10 or $20 away into an account, but if you are consistent about adding money to that account, without withdrawing any, that money can grow over time. Members of the sandwich generation, in particular, often find themselves financially responsible for multiple generations of family members, and this can be a serious drain on your resources and emotions without having a financial cushion to help mitigate some of the costs and stress.

You haven't yet consulted your financial professional

You are stressed out and feel as if you are starting to fall behind in your finances, but you haven’t yet taken steps toward getting the help you need.

Potential solution: When managing your money, especially if you find yourself burdened with financial challenges involving family members and navigating the world of finance, you want to formulate a plan. Consider consulting a financial professional who could help you work to mitigate costly financial pitfalls that you otherwise might only notice once it is too late.

Sources:

The Sandwich Generation | Pew Research Center

The financial implications of being sandwiched | TIAA

Sandwich generation moms feeling the squeeze (apa.org)

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

This article was prepared by LPL Marketing Solutions

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