Majority of Adult Children Cannot Support Boomer Parents, Surveys Find

A recent survey by the American Advisors Group (AAG) finds that 55 percent of adult children say they are not financially prepared to help their Baby Boomer parents cope with rising inflation and living expenses.

“Americans want to see their parents age with grace and dignity and have the resources they need to live comfortably, but for many families the current economy is making that difficult,” AAG Chief of Marketing Martin Lenoir said in a news release.

AAG surveyed more than 1,500 adult children, ages 40 to 55, across the country. Known as the “sandwich generation,” this group faces the responsibilities not only of raising their children, but also of serving as caregivers for their aging parents.

Among the survey’s other key findings:

  • More than a third of adult children say they worry that their parents will become a financial burden for them.
  • Nearly 60 percent say they cannot afford any kind of professional elder care for their parents.
  • Yet almost half admit they have never broached the subject of finances with their senior parents.
  • A full 50 percent of them do not know how much debt their parents are carrying.

1 in 3 Adult Children Already Assisting Their Parents Financially

Another survey, conducted in 2020 by GoHealth, Inc., explored GenXers’ and millennials’ involvement in their parents’ financial and health care needs. It found that one in three GenXers and millennials are supporting their parents financially. Nearly the same number are managing, or helping to manage, their parents’ health care.

The survey’s 2,000 GenX and millennial respondents also reported the following:

  • On average, they spend 11.5 hours per week managing their parents’ health care by providing transportation, scheduling doctor visits, and explaining insurance claims. They also estimate they’ll spend 14 to 16 years continuing to do so.
  • 2 in 5 spent more than $10,000 of their own money supporting their parents in 2020.
  • The vast majority (86 percent of GenXers and 82 percent of millennials) worry about having enough money to support themselves and their parents.

Squeezing the Sandwich Generation

Adult children will continue to feel the pressure for the foreseeable future. Every day, on average, 10,000 Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) reach age 65, and another 10,000 of them turn 75. According to research by the Blackstone Group, an independent research firm, nearly 80 percent of middle-income Boomers do not have any savings designated to cover their retirement care.

Meanwhile, 30 million Boomers retired from the workforce amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Saddled with college debt, as well as rising inflation and housing costs, those GenXers and millennials who still depend on their parents for financial assistance or housing may no longer be able to count on that support.

Have ‘The Talk’

It’s important for families to have an honest and respectful financial conversation before a medical event occurs or the need for care arises. Talking about money with aging parents can be a delicate matter, but it’s necessary to understand both the degree of care that may be needed and the financial resources available to provide it.

For help planning for the future of your Boomer parents, or for your GenXer and millennial children, contact our office at (989) 356-6128 to schedule a long-term care consultation to discuss the options that are available to handle the cost of long-term care and the documents that are  recommended to assure that financial and legal matters can be handled appropriately.

If you have specific questions about your situation or would like to learn more, reach out to the team at WBH here.

Read more articles:

How Do You Choose the Right Person for Your Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a document that authorizes someone to represent and act on your behalf should you not be in a position to do it. The person you name to act on your behalf is known as the “agent.”  Your agent may need to sign contracts, handle investments, sell...

Court Case Illustrates the Danger of Using an Online Power of Attorney Form

A recent court case involving a power of attorney demonstrates the problem with using online estate planning forms instead of hiring an attorney who can make sure your documents are tailored to your needs. Mercedes Goosley owned a home in Pennsylvania. In 2013, she...

When Can Someone Be Declared Legally Incompetent?

If a loved one is experiencing memory loss or suddenly making poor decisions, you may be in a situation where it becomes necessary to ask the probate court to appoint a guardian and/or a conservator for them. This is a complicated process, so we strongly encourage our...

The 6 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes

If you’re like most people, you have the best of intentions regarding how you want your estate distributed when you die or your affairs handled should you become incapacitated. Unfortunately, without proper planning, your best intentions may not be enough. Here are...

Claiming Social Security Benefits at Age 70

If you are about to turn 70, congratulations on reaching a big milestone.  And if you also have delayed claiming Social Security retirement benefits up till now, you are joining a select group -- only 6.5 percent of Social Security recipients put off collecting their...

The Tax Consequences of Selling a House After the Death of a Spouse

If your spouse dies, you may have to decide whether or when to sell your house. There are some tax considerations that go into that decision.  The biggest concern when selling property is capital gains taxes.  A capital gain is the difference between the "basis" in...

Using a Roth IRA as an Estate Planning Tool

A Roth IRA does not have to be used as just a retirement plan; it can also be a way to transfer assets tax-free to the next generation. Unlike a traditional IRA, contributions to a Roth IRA are taxed, which means that the distributions are tax-free. Also, unlike a...

In 2022, Social Security Beneficiaries Will See the Biggest Increase in 39 Years

The year was 1983: The U.S. invaded Granada. A gallon of gas cost 96 cents. Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ video premiered. That year was also the last time that Social Security recipients saw a cost-of-living increase steeper than the one just announced for 2022. This...

You Can Just Say No: Declining to Act as an Agent Under a Power of Attorney

Acting as an agent under a power of attorney is a big responsibility and it isn’t something everyone can take on. It is possible to resign or refuse the position. There are two main types of powers of attorney – financial and medical. As the agent under a power of...

Preserving the Family Vacation Home for Generations to Come

Summer is winding down and if you are one of the lucky ones, you got to spend some time at a family vacation home. How do you make sure your children and grandchildren can enjoy that second home as much as you did? The question for owners of vacation homes in planning...