The term “sandwich generation” was originally coined to describe baby boomers caught between caring for their aging parents and their children. These days the term applies to whichever generation is grappling with the problem. If you’re in the middle of the sandwich, it may be time for some honest discussions with the other parties about pressing issues.
It’s a good idea to start the talks with the “bottom” of the sandwich: your children. Assuming they’re still in their formative years, make them your top priority. At this stage, you’ll still have most of the control over decisions that affect their lives. These involve personal choices that are different for every family.
The “top” half of the sandwich can be more problematic. Depending on their health status, finances and other factors, your parents may not welcome assistance. They may be dismissive of your concerns and may display attitudes ranging from cooperative to highly resistant.
To initiate a family meeting, invite all the key players — your parents, siblings, their spouses if appropriate and, possibly, others. Generally, it’s best to hold such a meeting face-to-face. But if distance or other factors make this unrealistic, an online video chat might work as well.
What should you discuss? Cover the entire tax and financial planning gamut. The dialogue should be frank and honest. Many issues can be sensitive, and emotions may run high. So be prepared for some handwringing or pushback.
You may find that one session isn’t enough to accomplish your objectives. In fact, you might discover a need to include additional family members to resolve the issues. You may even want to broaden the circle to include your CPA or attorney.
HoganTaylor Wealth provides an integrated approach to investment and financial planning and is a registered investment advisor and subsidiary of HoganTaylor LLP. HoganTaylor Wealth takes its fiduciary responsibility seriously. Without commission, referral or soft-dollar arrangements, they operate on a fee-only basis to ensure everyone’s interests are aligned with those of the client.
INFORMATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY. This content is for informational purposes only. This content does not constitute professional advice and should not be relied upon by you or any third party, including to operate or promote your business, secure financing or capital in any form, obtain any regulatory or governmental approvals, or otherwise be used in connection with procuring services or other benefits from any entity. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult with professional advisors.