Sandwich Generation – Do you feel stuck?

Posted by 20 May, 2008

The sandwich generation is a generation of people stuck between having to care for their kids as well as their aging parents. This phenomena is detailed in an article put out by CNN. It offers suggestions including websites and groups that may be able to help with your situation.

Sandwich clipart picture

I recently spoke to my father about retirement and what his plans were for the future. Let me first say that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be in terms of his reception of my questions, but I have been dreading the conversation with him for quite a while (~ 10 years). Let me give you a little background information on him. He is 56 years old and divorced with diabetes and high blood pressure. He does not have health insurance and he has no retirement plan or savings. Basically, if he is not able to work, it would not be a very nice situation for my sister’s family or my wife and I, financially or otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, I love my father, but that would be a pretty difficult situation. I am currently in the “throws” of the retirement discussion with him.

We’ve currently set up an emergency fund for him with ING. I put a figure out there for him to attain to and he met that goal so we were really proud of him for that. Without knowing his expenses, he has a cushion of approximately 6 months worth of funds before having to turn to my sister or myself.

After setting up and emergency fund, the next item on the agenda is to get HEALTH INSURANCE. I’ve called around quite a bit and as far as I know, he is only eligible for the state’s high risk pool that runs $500-$700 per month due to his high blood pressure and diabetes. He states he can get insurance somewhere else for under $300 per month. The best idea I’ve come up with is for him to get a part-time job at Walgreens or CVS. Not only could he get good health insurance through an employer, but he could also make a few extra dollars to put away.

The next plan of attack is to have him go to the Social Security website and request paperwork so that we can estimate his income.

The part of the “plan of attack” I have been dreading is sitting down with him and forming a budget. He has usually made pretty good money. The problem is that while he has been very good with selling or whatever is profession is at the time, he has never been very good at handling his money.

The latter part of the plan includes getting him to commit a large amount of money monthly to place in a safe investment and to purchase long term health care. I go include an update on the progress next week in addition to elaborating on the safe investment of choice and the long term health care we are considering. If you are in a similar situation or have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Overview of Plan for My Father

Plan of Attack Due Date
1. Set up emergency fund Done
2. Call SS and get paperwork to estimate income from SS June 1st
3. Organize Finances to figure out cash flow and how much can be saved per month June 1st
4. Health Insurance June 1st
5. Meet with CPA June 15th
6. Begin dedicating large amount of money to savings July 1st
7. Purchase Long Term Health Care August 1st


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