The sandwich generation is not a group that is devoted to the delicious meal that can be found between two pieces of bread. In an estate planning and elder law context, the sandwich generation is comprised of adults who are juggling two different familial responsibilities.
Many adults are still parenting children who are in high school or college while they are simultaneously providing support for aging parents. This can be difficult on a number of different levels.
From an emotional perspective, you can be stretched if you are in this position, especially if you are working at the same time.
There can also be significant financial challenges. You often hear counselors talk about the importance of retirement planning, and it is indeed essential if you want to be able to put your working years behind you at some point in time. This is something that you would be dealing with as you simultaneously help your children pay for college.
On top of these financial responsibilities, you may be providing support for your parents. The support could possibly be financial, but in many cases, your parents will need help with their day-to-day needs.
In fact, most senior citizens will someday need long-term care. The figure is 70 percent according to the government website LongTermCare.gov.
The majority of senior citizens will qualify for Medicare when they reach the age of eligibility, and this government health insurance program will help in many ways. However, there are out-of-pocket expenses to contend with for things that are covered, and under some circumstances, they can be significant.
In addition to these out-of-pocket expenses, there is a total lack of coverage that is a very big deal. The Medicare program does not pay for long-term care. If your parents need living assistance at some point in time, your family will have to look elsewhere for financial support.
Medicaid does pay for long-term care, and a Medicaid funded program called the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) “waiver” program will pay for in-home care if you can qualify. Since Medicaid is a need-based program, there are income and asset limits.
These limits are relaxed when someone is applying for the waiver program, because in-home care is less expensive than full-time residence in an assisted living facility. The more liberal limits ultimately save money.
It takes careful planning to qualify for government assistance, because the program rules are complex.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you are a member of the sandwich generation, you should certainly implement a long-term plan so that you can be optimally prepared for the eventualities that your family may face in the future. Our firm offers free consultations, and we would be glad to help.
To set up an appointment, contact us through this page: Grand Forks ND Elder Law Attorneys.