The Sandwich Generation


Photo credit: IBM Commerce

Guest blogger: Lindsay V., Communications Coordinator / Compass Rose Benefits Group

Have you ever heard someone use the term “Sandwich Generation?” It was coined based on two simultaneously occurring trends. More and more millennials are moving back home after graduating college, as they face a competitive job market and increasing cost-of-living. At the same time, the average lifespan is 78.7 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—meaning people are living longer. The generation caught in between, juggling both their children and their parents, are known as the Sandwich Generation.

Being responsible for taking care of and supporting everyone else can be stressful. It can force you to make some tough decisions such as how long your adult children stay at home, should you charge them rent, who pays the bills, who cares for your aging parents and the list goes on. The best way to address these questions is to have a family meeting.

If you are from the Sandwich Generation, you are the one taking on a lot of responsibility. It is okay to ask for help if you need it—you should not have to take on the burden alone. Your parents who love and raised you will understand, and your children who you love and raised will also understand. By setting a good example for your children and taking care of them just a little bit longer, they will likely return the favor down the road.

Your Children

First, your children need to realize they are not children anymore. You have taken care of them their whole lives and it is time for them to take on some responsibility. This may come in the form of paying rent or taking over their cell phone bill. Ask them to contribute to household expenses if possible. In the long-run, allowing your children to live at home helps them save money, and they will be forever grateful. Furthermore, your children can also help take care of your parents.

Your Parents

Their needs will help determine the level of care they need. For example, if they have dementia or limited mobility, you may not be equipped to take care of them. You must realize that you are a priority too, and if taking care of them is taking a toll on your own health, a senior residence that provides them with the care they need might be a better option. Or, maybe your parents are in good health, but because they did not expect to live this long, resources are starting to run out. Having them move in with you is an option to help them save money.


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