The Duality of Aging Parents, and Aging Children
Things seem to be happening faster than ever today. The pandemic seemed to slow things down for a while, but it seems as though the rat race is back on, even if that means working from home. We’re seeing an increase in burdens in a specific area though, that does not get discussed enough, and how to deal with it financially. I am talking about the duality of caring for our children, as well as our aging parents.
We all want financial security, but that can seem difficult, even for families making good money. There is pressure from society to help fund your kid’s college, while saving for your own retirement. Then we receive pressure to take care of our parents as they might be nearing a time of needing more care. Balancing this can take a financial and emotional toll on you. The key to dealing with it is segmenting it, while making sure everyone else has their ducks in a row too.
Let’s start with the kids. Children are one of the greatest gifts we can receive in this world, and we as parents want to give them all the tools to be successful and happy. College is a route that many of us take to hopefully get those things. However, college isn’t cheap, and stop me if you’ve heard this, it’s getting more expensive. In fact, according to USnews.com, the price of tuition and other fees at in-state public universities has increased 175% over the last twenty years. Over 8% inflation of college tuition is something that can be daunting. However, there are solutions that can help. Sure, funding a 529 plan can help, but so can making sure that your kids can receive a scholarship. Researching different places that can help bring your kid a couple thousand in scholarships is a start, but helping with homework, and projects is the best route, maybe even spending some money on a private tutor if there is a specific subject your child is struggling with. Making sure your kids are putting their best foot forward in school is the fastest way to an academic scholarship and saving you and/or them money down the line. Does this mean you should throw away that 529 so you can get a great tutor? No, as that 529 money can be used in other ways, thanks to the Secure Act 2.0.
Now on to the parents. Elder care has been a topic of conversation for some years now, specifically with the rising cost of nursing homes. The average cost of a private room at a nursing home in 2021 was approximately $108,408. This number has seen an average increase of about 3.5% per year according to Long Term Care Cost Survey 2023. A way to help with this is to make sure your parents have a long-term care plan before it is too late. There are many ways to get long-term care coverage to make sure that they don’t have to spend down the assets they have worked so hard to accumulate. They should also have their estate documents in order, these are, a living will, a living trust, and different types of power of attorney. These things can take time, but it is time well spent, and something to think about when it comes to finding ways to take pressure off yourself.
Finally, we get to you, the parent and child. We can quickly forget about ourselves during this time of being in a sandwich generation. It is important to use some of our resources on ourselves, both time, and money. Saving for retirement is something you are probably starting to think about but seems impossible with all these outside factors discussed above. Speaking with someone to help with all these situations can help ease your burden. Developing a plan will also help. If you would like to create a plan for your unique situation, contact us today.
(No date) See 20 years of tuition growth at National Universities. Available at: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/see-20-years-of-tuition-growth-at-national-universities (Accessed: 14 July 2023).
Long Term Care Cost Survey 2023 - companies and quotes (2023) Long Term Care Insurance Cost, Quotes, Companies, AARP. Available at: https://www.ltcinsuranceconsultants.com/cost-of-long-term-care/#:~:text=Long%2DTerm%20Care%20Inflation%20Rate&text=From%202020%20to%202021%2C%20the,services%20remains%20supply%20and%20demand (Accessed: 14 July 2023).