Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) March 19, 2012
The Sandwich generation is a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children. For many seniors, the subtle effects of aging begin to impede on their capability to adequately manage their daily finances. Many individuals in the Sandwich Generation feel stressed and overwhelmed by the dual responsibility of providing for their own financial needs and lending a helping hand to their elderly parents or adult children. These findings are accumulated from numerous months of feedback from clients, as well as discussion and debate on HarMoney's blog, at http://www.harmoneyllc.com/Chat-with-HarMoney.
According to the Retirement Re-Set study by SunAmerica Financial Group and Age Wave, nearly half of Americans 55 and older say they expect to provide support for aging relatives and adult children, which equates to about 14 million U.S. workers caring for an aging family member. A whopping eighty percent of the care given to elders is provided by family and friends, according to The National Alliance for Caregiving. One of the strongest issues that's emerging is the physical and emotional long-term consequences of being a caregiver, and managing the stress of having to track expenses for budgeting purposes, the arduous process of allocating funds and remembering due dates, reviewing and reconciling statements, as well as maintaining a filing system for bills, for themselves and their elderly parents.
The elderly are extremely concerned about losing control of their independence and their environment. With these feelings comes the natural tendency to attempt to maintain their independence and not seek help, in an effort not to burden others. Since many seniors are too embarrassed to talk to their adult children about financial or organizational problems, and their adult children either don't think to ask or feel too uncomfortable to question their parents about how they are managing their daily finances, how do you know when your parents are in need of help? Once you determine that there is an issue, how do you proceed to take the reins of a situation, that at this point may be out of control? HarMoney has a blog which is full of practical, insightful tips that can be used by individuals on an everyday basis, to help manage and organize the daily finances of themselves and their loved ones. They also have Certified Personal Finance counselors, and money managers that can be contacted, who will provide valuable information to individuals who take on the tough job of caregiver.
Larry Simms, Marketing Director of HarMoney states, " There are many signs that children with elderly parents can watch for, some more obvious than others. Some seniors may begin to pay their bills late or forget entirely. Other signs, which are less glaring, unless your elderly parents are actually living with you, are they will begin struggling to dig up enough money for their prescription medications, or they run up large credit card bills, generating a debt that threatens to overwhelm them."
Christopher Lowman of Albany NY, stated that the first sign he noticed that something was not quite right came when his father, a retired Anesthesiologist, and his mother, a retired CPA, sent their son a check that was rejected for insufficient funds. "My parents have always been extremely systematic when it comes to their finances," Lowman says. "My wife and I realized this was becoming a serious issue, and that we had to deal with it as soon as possible." The Lowman's decided to take control of their parents' financials, however they quickly realized that they were not fully prepared for the responsiblity. They felt they caught the issue fairly early, however they still faced months of waiting for past due statements. They now had to deal with the tedious task of gathering and reorganizing old bills, contacting credit card companies, and negotiating accrued late fees. "I'm definitely glad that we caught it when we did, I just wish I was aware of the initial signs, because I'm sure I could've avoided a lot of the headache. It took us a few months to actually get everything under control." says Lowman.
It is very important to find a way to begin talking with your parents about their finances before they need help, in an effort to gauge their current situation, and avoid future issues. Once you realize there is an issue the proper steps must be taken to organize the bills. Some families find it more beneficial to get outside professional help, and hire an outside bookkeeper to manage their parents daily finances, and maintain their privacy. Other families split up responsibilities among siblings or other relatives. Families should take the time to research multiple options to find which works best for your particular situation. "Being the caregiver for both your children and your parents can be the ultimate challenge." adds Mr. Simms. "Knowing your limitations and when it may be time to seek other care for a parent or help from professionals, is extremely significant." Mr. Simms adds, "Spreading yourself too thin is not always the best thing for your children, your parents or your marriage."
HarMoney is a service oriented Daily Money Management Company. We provide our clients with a vast array of personalized money management services, including monthly bill payment and bill organizing. As a member of the Association of Daily Money Managers, we abide by a strict code of ethics and maintain the ongoing loyalty of our customers. By aligning our services with the interests of our clients, HarMoney has become a trusted bookkeeper for the individual.
# # #
If you'd like more information about this topic, or a detailed quote, please call Shari Smith at
(800)385-4531 or e-mail Shari at shari(at)harmoneybillpay(dot)com