Tips for When You're Caring for Kids AND Parents
We've written up some tips for when you are caring for both kids AND parents. Middle-aged professionals may have children in school and/or college, and also be caring for elderly parents. Also known as the “sandwich generation”, you can end up with financial burdens from both your younger dependents and your parents. You may also be busy with your own career, developing it to a higher level to achieve a higher income.
How do you deal with all of the demands? Here are some tips:
You may be torn between contributing to your retirement and paying for your children's college tuition. You will usually be better off by putting savings into your retirement accounts. The opportunity is there now, so take it.
Make sure you know your parents' financial plans. Do they have savings, and where do they plan to live? Start thinking about the costs of college, the possibilities of scholarships, how much you can contribute, and how much your children can contribute.
Talk with your boss about the possibility that you might need more flexible hours, since you may be called upon at any moment to assist with your elderly parents. Keep communications open with your employer to avoid any perception that you are not as reliable as before, especially if you aspiring to a new or higher position in the company.
Adult children who are still living at home or who have returned to live at home should help with their portion of expenses. You should not have the additional financial burden of supporting your adult children.
Even though you may think your finances are well-balanced at this point, ensure that you have at least three months of living expenses saved up and easy to access. Just knowing you are prepared in case of any emergencies will give you peace of mind.
Allow other family members and friends to help. You don't have to handle this alone. Siblings who don't live near your parents can phone them frequently and check on them. Friends and neighbors can stop in periodically and then let you know how your parents are doing.
Last, be sure to take care of yourself. Take time to exercise, eat well, and maintain relationships with friends and family. You will need a support network, and now is the time to strengthen it.