The sandwich generation are now finding themselves caring for both their parents and young children at the same time. This generation usually falls between the ages of 40-70 and makes up around 2.4 million people across Britain.
The impact of the sandwich generation can be massive on the individuals that it encompasses, affecting stress levels, sleep quality and productivity at work. Predominantly women (85%), the sandwich generation may experience a halt in career development and affected relationships in other areas of life, such as in a marriage or with one’s own children.
As life expectancy increases and people choose to have children later, the sandwich generation is inevitable, but what effect will this have on wellbeing, health and finances? Read on for some top tips of how to cope and plan for this.
The kind of help your parents need with their own financial management can vary. They may eventually need to give up financial control for you to step in and be entrusted with their money. You can find out more about this here.
The challenge of providing care for your parents and your children can put pressure on your own finances. Furthermore, the financial situation of your parents may filter down to you, increasing the already mounting pressure.
The best way to create financial security for yourself is through a pension. All contributions made are potentially eligible for tax relief from the Government. Alternatively, you could consider opening a lifetime ISA if you are under the age of 40.
In the meantime, changes may need to be considered such as downsizing property, having your parents move into your home, and using savings & investments to generate extra income.
Some employers can provide support through schemes such as childcare vouchers to help with the costs of childcare. It is also worth speaking to them about flexible working hours, to help you account for the extra time you are spending being a family carer. Some people find that they have to give up work completely to take on long term care for a parent, so it’s worth approaching the subject with your manager to see what flexibility they may be able to offer.
It’s likely that those around you will be more than willing to help, so make sure you lean on siblings and any other relatives who may be able to support.
It is certainly worth getting a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), a legal document providing the power to make decisions on someone’s behalf, with one type for health and welfare and one type for property and financial affairs.
Covering yourself with critical illness cover may be worth considering too, as it can help if you become ill should your family rely you on financially.
It can be a distressing time when put under mounting pressure. You may feel as though you are being pulled in different directions, and if you feel that you are struggling to cope, it’s important to remember that there is help available.
Full information about support available when caring for the elderly can be found here.
If you would like more information about balancing your finances, please get in touch with Sheards Financial Management today.