Reprinted from The Golden Times Newspaper

Are You Sandwiched Financially?

by Eileen J. Trott

"Dad had a stroke last summer. Our daughter is divorced, so we help watch the kids. We are busier than ever.  I thought that things were going to get simpler as we got older!

If this isn’t you talking, it may be your best friend or your next door neighbor. This generation is being “Sandwiched” by their obligations to themselves, their children, and their parents. The trend to start a family at an older age finds people who should be counting down the days of their retirement counting out the dollars for college educations, weddings or a parent's medical care. We don’t really mind, but it’s very difficult to decide what our priorities should be.

Life is so complicated now! It has always been difficult to hold a good job, but companies keep “downsizing” jobs and benefits away! Nobody can count on working until they are ready to collect Social Security any more. How do we figure out which of all those mutual funds are the best for our Retirement money? If we pick the wrong ones, will we ever be able to stop working?
Our kids will always be our kids, and we will always want the best for them. But the job market isn’t what it used to be. Just getting a college diploma doesn’t guarantee them a good job or even a decent salary!

Our parents will always be our parents, and we try to help them with all the things that they need. We would never turn our backs on them when they simply get older, but we worry about how much they are alone. We could get an agency to help them, but Mom doesn’t like having strangers in her house. We’ve heard that Nursing Homes cost a fortune and who would pay for it?

Many of us are concerned that we will run out of money before we even get to our parents’ age. The retirement costs that are published in the magazines are so high. Who ever thought that the average person would need that much money? What will happen if we don’t have it? We now live longer and have a higher standard of living than we ever dreamed was possible!

Isn’t it funny? People now spend 20 years as students, 30 years working, and another 30 years in the condition we call “retirement”! Who would have believed it?