Are you a Sandwicher? Embrace it!

July is National Sandwich Generation Month, celebrating a generation of people sandwiched between caring for their young children and aging parents at the same time.

I’m a Sandwicher, as are approximately 15% of Americans between ages 40-60 who face the challenges of planning for 3 generations. 

Last year, a growing medical crisis led my parents to no longer being independent in NH after 60 years in their home. Stress raised on my mom as caregiver and daily living/house routines began to slide. My wife, two young daughters and I lived comfortably in our Ashland home. 

We all agreed on a Plan B supported by updated financial planning. Sell both homes, buy a new home for 3 generations and live as one household sharing in care responsibilities. The urgency was greater than anticipated, here’s some antidotes for Sandwichers:

Small talks instead of “The Talk”. Families don’t like to think about declining health and elder care, let alone discuss it. I used single topics tied to a recent story about a friend, asking what they would do. Gained small agreements, then changed topics as would address others another day to frame a mutual plan.

Bring in outside mediators. My aunt shared with my mom that time is not your friend. She encouraged the positives to take action now, rather than later when fewer options are available. Additionally, we consulted with an elder care attorney on understanding MA Health options, current trusts, POAs and proxies before making the move. 

Your spouse’s support is critical. Incredibly fortunate to have a spouse that pushed me to see the positives and embraces bringing family in as “you’d want your daughters to treat you the same someday”. 

Through the eyes of a child. It’s not all about you, the girls show the love and benefits of learning by being around grandma and grandpa. And vice versa, as health has improved so has activity as the girls provide motivation and energy. 

Your parents sacrificed many things to make sure you had it better, including concealing issues to not worry you. Be open with communication and embrace change, the best ways to prevent costly unintended consequences and ensure positive lasting memories. 

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

Glenn Brown is a Holliston resident and owner of PlanDynamic, LLC, Glenn is a fee-only Certified Financial Planner™ helping motivated people take control of their planning and investing, so they can balance kids, aging parents and financial independence.

This article appeared in the July 2019 editions of Holliston Local Town Pages, Ashland Local Town Pages and Natick Local Town Pages.

Please call me at (508) 834-7733 or directly schedule a meeting to learn more about considerations for planning and investing so you can balance kids, aging parents and your financial independence.

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