Advice for the Sandwich Generation

It seemed there was nothing her father couldn't do when Margaret was growing up. He was the most capable person she knew. Widowed by the time he was 55, he lived an independent and full life, never relying on Margaret for anything other than her company.

Four years ago, however, Margaret began noticing changes. Subtle memory slips gradually became more troubling signs, alerting her that her father's behavior was more than typical ageing. Their family doctor confirmed that he was in the early stages of dementia. He advised her that the disease could progress rapidly and urged her to talk to her father about becoming his Power of Attorney (POA) while he could still make decisions. In this role, she would oversee his legal, financial and health affairs.

Margaret's father had taught her that the solution to any overwhelming problem could be found through careful planning, so she contacted her financial advisor for guidance. It turns out that he had faced a similar situation with his own mother a few years earlier. The experience, plus his perspective on life-stage planning, provided a level of expertise that gave Margaret a renewed sense of control.

He assured Margaret that she'd done the right thing to get her father diagnosed and to become his POA. He explained the scope of this role to her and suggested that she speak with trusted healthcare and legal professionals. From there, they worked together to establish the role that Margaret would play as the guardian of her father's financial future.

The biggest question revolved around Margaret's father's financial resources. Did he have enough to support himself? If not, how would this impact Margaret's financial goals? Some of the key questions her financial advisor asked as they formulated a plan included:

  1. What was the current cost of care for her father? How might that change over time?
  2. Did he have extended healthcare benefits?
  3. Did he have a pension or other retirement assets?
  4. Did he have any survivor benefits from his late wife?
  5. Was he eligible for government benefits?
  6. Was Margaret or any other family member positioned to lend financial support?

Exploring these questions with her financial advisor gave Margaret a better view of the potential cost of her father's future care. Just as importantly, the process helped Margaret to refine her own financial goals.

Fortunately, her father had saved and invested wisely for years. He'd also ensured that he had ample health and insurance benefits to cover his evolving needs, so it seemed unlikely that Margaret would be required to assume financial responsibility for his care. Margaret was fortunate, but this isn't always the case for caregivers.

If becoming a caregiver for your aging parents is a real possibility, start the conversation as early as possible before their health and financial situations become urgent. This first step will empower you throughout the process. Secondly, find a trusted financial advisor who can help you ask the right questions and develop a plan that positions everyone for the financial futures that each person deserves.

Contact our office today to learn more.

*Fictional characters for illustrative purposes only.

Copyright © 2021 AdvisorNet Communications Inc. All rights reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only and is based on the perspectives and opinions of the owners and writers only. The information provided is not intended to provide specific financial advice. It is strongly recommended that the reader seek qualified professional advice before making any financial decisions based on anything discussed in this article. This article is not to be copied or republished in any format for any reason without the written permission of the AdvisorNet Communications. The publisher does not guarantee the accuracy of the information and is not liable in any way for any error or omission.

What our clients are saying...

  • My expectation was to be provided with the best possible advice specific to my situation (as it evolves) and to be provided with objective, evidence-based solutions which will provide me with the maximum financial benefit (and peace of mind). I valued the very thorough process of gathering all pertinent information regarding my estate, pension, income and expenses in order to produce a very detailed and fulsome projection of my current and future financial situation. I really appreciate the time Anthony has taken to answer all of my questions and provide sound advice based on my goals and concerns. I am really looking forward to continuing my investment and financial planning journey with Anthony. I would certainly recommend Anthony to my family and friends!

  • We valued receiving a detailed report and explanation of our finances. When working with a financial planner, we expect to have our questions answered with adequate detail and to have a plan developed to help grow our money. Our expectations were clearly met and we would be happy to recommend Anthony to anyone looking for a Financial Plan.

  • We valued the fact that you sat down with us, heard what we wanted to say, asked for clarification and offered suggestions, and then came up with a detailed and well-reasoned plan in a short period of time and communicated that back to us so that we knew what we needed to do moving forward. Thanks!

    Our expectations for a financial planner are several fold: (1) Does the planner communicate well, in that they both listen but also offer suggestions and ideas in a clear easy-to-understand way, (2) Are they able to meet their client at the same energy/level and meet their specific needs? In our case we needed a tax minimization strategy within a short turn around time. (3) Did the planner actually do their job, in that were they able to provide ideas and suggestions that helped address the client's asks?

    We came to see you because we realised that we hadn't looked at how to minimize the taxes related to my Father’s estate planning and my mother’s future financial planning, and you were able to tell us things that we didn't know about, and offered us solutions that helped us with our future financial planning.

    You definitely met our expectations! In some ways, you actually exceeded our expectations. We were hoping that you could respond quickly, and you came up with a detailed and well-reasoned plan faster than we expected!

    Our only area of improvement we could think of was, given that the plan was very detailed, if we had an explicitly spelled out action plan with a timeline for completion.

    We are very happy and would definitely recommend you to our family and friends and in fact have already done so!

  • Anthony made the process very clear and explained each step along the way. He was very honest and straight forward. My expectation from a financial planner is that they are honest and transparent. Anthony definitely met my expectations and I would be happy to recommend him to my family and friends.

  • When working with a financial planner our expectations are to maximize our investments and have a solid plan for retirement. We now have a greater awareness of our current portfolio and options to best protect our estate. We were provided with good information to use in order to make better investment and estate planning decisions. We would gladly recommend Anthony to our family and friends.

  • We value the personal service and detailed explanations we receive from Anthony on an ongoing basis. We feel comfortable recommending Anthony to our family and friends as he is someone who we can trust and has our best interests in mind. He has been great at helping us work towards a comfortable and manageable retirement.