Sandwich Generation: Do Your Still Take Care of Your Children?

Posted on: May 4th, 2010 by

Financial Planning - Rockville, MDThere seems to be a universal problem with being in the “sandwich generation”: many of them are still taking care of their children, often into adulthood, even up to age 30.  According to financial sources, many adult children are faced with overwhelming college debt and are unemployed.  But the adult children of the sandwich generation are also dependent on their parents because of overspending resulting in a lot of consumer debt.

What would your financial advisers suggest?  They suggest that you focus on helping your children acquire the money skills necessary for financial independence and to create a timeline for your children to achieve that independence.  You need to teach them how to budget, save, and live within their means.  Help your children, rather re-teach them how to budget and maybe come up with creative ways to save on a daily basis.  If they are getting Starbucks everyday, teach them how to make their own coffee at home and save that expenditure.

You may also want to assist your children with their resumes and keep your ears and eyes open for any job, even if it is entry level.  An entry level position pays more than no job at all.  Teach them how to search for a job and not to be overly picky with unemployment levels what they are.  Allowing them to live at home without any sort of deadline for them to be out by will not motivate them to get up and avidly seek employment.  Stop enabling them.  If there is cut off to the free ride, they will most certainly do everything they can to make money and put food on the table.

As for the sandwich generation with teenagers in the household, you should still teach them about budgeting and saving.  Have them get a summer job or afterschool job.  As you cannot put them out of the household, make them work towards other things to teach a good work ethic.  Have them pay for their car insurance or else they cannot be driving.  That will almost certainly motivate a teenager.  This may put you in the middle, but it is for their own good in the long run.  Finally, consider sitting down with a financial planner to discuss setting up savings plans for your younger children to give them a head start.



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