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:

Is a Medicaid Planner Right for You?

Medicaid Planner is a term that encompasses many different types of professionals who may be able to assist you or a loved one with qualifying for Medicaid benefits. Not every Medicaid Planner may be appropriate for your individual needs or situation. Although...

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...

CMS: Medicare Will Soon Cover Certain Alzheimer’s Treatments

Medicare recipients living with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s recently received promising news: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it would begin covering new Alzheimer’s treatments that receive approval from the FDA. “If the FDA...

The Difference Between Elder Law and Estate Planning

Elder law and estate planning serve two different--but equally vital--functions. The main difference is that elder law is focused on preserving your assets during your lifetime, while estate planning concentrates on what happens to your assets after you die.  Elder...

What Are Veterans Death Benefits?

Although death benefits are available to veterans, as well as their families and veterans who did not engage in combat, less than half of those who are eligible for death benefits use them, according to the American Association of Retired People. Available veterans...

Pros and Cons of a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust

A Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT) is one option a person may consider to protect their assets from Medicaid and nursing homes or long-term care. What Is a MAPT? A MAPT is an irrevocable trust created during your lifetime. The primary goal of a MAPT is to...

Inherited Retirement Accounts: Minimizing Tax Consequences

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, which went into effect in 2020, changed how beneficiaries of inherited retirement accounts must withdraw these funds. The Act’s passage made it more difficult for individuals to pass their...

Estate Planning: An At-a-Glance Overview

Estate planning, or legacy planning, entails preparing your affairs for the future, including death and other life events. While older adults might give more thought to estate planning, it is an essential tool at any age. Why It’s Important With estate planning,...

Medicare’s Limited Nursing Home Coverage

Many people believe that Medicare covers nursing home stays. In fact, Medicare's coverage of nursing home care is quite limited. Medicare covers up to 100 days of "skilled nursing care" per illness, but there are a number of requirements that must be met before the...

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...