The Fast-Growing Sandwich Generation 

Joe Mazzucco |

Finances are dicey for those simultaneously caring for their parents and kids.

Over the last 20 years, the median age for Americans (the median age is the point where exactly half the population is older and the other half is younger) has increased by about 3 ½ years. Today, the median age is 38.8 years. The national median saw the largest single-year gain on record of 0.3 years in 2021. Our population is getting older overall.

And this is growing the Sandwich Generation – those adults that are simultaneously caring for their children and their parents.

Whether they want the role or not, adult children often find themselves in the position of primary caregiver for their parents. Unfortunately, many of us are not prepared for that role.

We often find ourselves so engrossed in how fast our children are growing up that it’s easy to sometimes forget that our own parents are also aging. Finances can be very dicey for members of the Sandwich Generation.

If you haven’t yet, you should start to address elder care with your parents to make sure that they are comfortable in their late years. It’s never too early to start preparing for the responsibility of caring for parents in the future. 

Discuss Finances

First, arrange your parents’ finances before illness or death makes it difficult or impossible to discuss it with them. Collect information about your parents’ assets, account numbers of bank accounts and other investment vehicles and passwords for online banking. If they have one, ask for a key to the safety deposit box and where they store their important documents.

Get Documents in Order

It is also crucial that you create a durable power of attorney to name a person to control your parents’ finances when they no longer can. Without this, you might face significant delays in getting the legal power to make decisions on their behalf. Guide your parents to execute a living will as well to designate someone to make medical decisions while they are incapacitated.

Also, review your parent’s current insurance coverage including Medicare benefits. Don’t overestimate how much the government program covers. The Employee Benefit Research Institute finds that Medicare only covers 51% of retirees’ health costs. You might need to look into a Medigap policy to shore up mom and dad’s coverage.


Important Disclosures

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

This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized legal advice. Please consult your legal advisor regarding your specific situation.

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 FMeX.