5 Tips for the Sandwich Generation

by Rick Halberg

I’ve been in the sandwich. My mom and my aunt, both in their 80’s, required assisted living – and attention. At the same time, my kids were in high school and required an equal amount of attention. You sometimes need to walk a fine line, but a few quick tips can help you keep your balance.

Create and follow a schedule.

Can you schedule a doctor appointment for mom or dad over a lunch hour? It may help you avoid working late and missing a kids’ ball game.

Spend time together with the whole family.

If you notice you’re spending a lot of time taking care of your parents and children separately, why not bring everyone together? Encourage your children to visit with their grandparents. Meanwhile, enjoy a little break!

Share the responsibility.

Brothers and sisters, cousins and friends often offer to help. Let them! Don’t be afraid to ask them to run an errand or give the kids a lift to soccer practice. The same goes for other parents – consider setting up a rotating car pool so the pressure isn’t always on you to get junior from A to B.

Make time for you.

We always intend to do this, but rarely follow through. Commit to “me time” and it could help you avoid feeling overwhelmed. It’s ok to put yourself first every once in a while.

Carve out time to talk finances.

You already know your family’s financial picture, but are you aware of your parents’ situation? Their savings or their insurance policies? Split the responsibilities with your spouse. While they take care of your family finances, spend some time handling mom and dad’s budget.

Planning ahead now can help with some of the expenses incurred in our later years. Our Retirement Needs Calculator can help you get started.

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COUNTRY Financial® is the marketing name for the COUNTRY Financial family of affiliated companies (collectively, COUNTRY), which include COUNTRY Life Insurance Company®, COUNTRY Mutual Insurance Company®, and their respective subsidiaries, located in Bloomington, Illinois.