Are you a part of the Sandwich Generation?

Unfortunately, I’m not talking about those who love a good sandwich. I’m talking about people who find themselves providing support in some form to both their children and their parents.

You may be helping your children with:

• General costs while they are still living at home

• The cost of college

• The cost of getting set up on their own

You may find yourself giving your parents help by:

• Supplementing their income

• Purchasing a rental home and renting to them at a reduced rate

• Paying for services like house cleaning, lawn maintenance, medical care

• Partially retiring yourself to take the time and give them the attention they need.

How do you plan for this?

Plan early and plan often. Have the conversation with your parents as soon as possible with them regarding their financial situation. This isn’t always an easy conversation to have and quite frankly, parents don’t always want to provide you with this information.

• You can start by asking them if they have a long term health care policy. If so, when was the last time that they reviewed it against the current costs of care. Genworth puts out a survey every year that allows you to see how much care costs in your area.

• Do they have a will? Power of Attorney? Health Care Power of Attorney? Advanced Directives? These are all legal documents that may be needed at some point in time. If they have these documents, great. Where are they located? If they don’t, it may be time to go see a lawyer.

• What health insurance do you have? Are they solely relying on Medicare? Who are their Doctors and what medications are they on? Who should you call in an emergency?

• Do they have a funeral plan? Have they purchased burial plots? If they have some place special they want to be buried, now may be the time to make the purchase. What are their wishes? One hundred percent of people don’t get out of this world alive.

• Who is their financial advisor? Would they like to introduce you to them? You don’t necessarily need to know all their details, but you do need to know who to call if needed.

You don’t want to be too pushy. Start the conversation. Share what you’ve learned with your financial planner. The more information you have, the easier it is for you to plan for your own future.