FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FINANCIAL PRESSURE RISES FOR
Millions of Americans are shouldering additional responsibility for
parents and children; understanding options, including insurance, can
reduce stress and save money
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 21, 2014) -Millions in the so-called "Sandwich Generation"
are finding their dreams about retirement less than appetizing. Middle-aged
Americans are serving as primary caregivers for their aging parents, and
are also shouldering more of their adult children's financial
responsibilities. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners
(NAIC) urges those who have adult children on one side and aging parents on
the other to understand their options, including insurance needs, to save
money and ease concerns.
According to a study commissioned by the Pew Research Center:
- 21 percent of
respondents ages 40 to 59 provided some financial support to a parent
age 65 or older. By contrast, 48 percent provided support to at least
one adult child - an increase from 42 percent just seven years ago.1
- Of parents providing
primary support to an adult child, 62 percent say they're doing so
because the child is still in school. But more than a third (36
percent) are doing so for some other reason.1
- One in seven survey
respondents provided financial support to both an aging parent and a child.1
"The emotional and financial strain of caring for an aging parent is
challenging enough. But as more consumers also provide support for an adult
child, their own financial security may be at risk," said Adam Hamm, NAIC
President and North Dakota Insurance Commissioner. "Fortunately, making
smart insurance choices along the way can help alleviate the financial
stresses felt by the sandwich generation and safeguard their long-term
To help consumers get smart about insurance needs for age 50 and beyond,
the NAIC developed Get
Ready resources for Turning 50. The resource kit includes tips and
tools, such as challenging
questions to consider and a Take
Action Now checklist of things to do to ensure unforeseen insurance
needs do not get in the way of financial stability.
- Middle-aged parents
should openly discuss post-college health insurance coverage with
their adult children and determine who will foot the bill for co-pays
and deductibles. If the adult child lives at home, parents should have
the same conversation about auto insurance.
- Caregivers should
make sure their aging parents enroll in Medicare before they turn 65.
If there are gaps in coverage, Medicare Supplement Insurance may help.
- For some, depending
on age and future income, purchasing an annuity may make sense as part
of your long-term financial planning.
The NAIC partnered with singer-songwriter Amy Grant who has firsthand
experience with the challenges faced by middle-aged adults when caring for
aging and ailing parents. On Insure
U, Grant offers the following advice to those in a similar life stage:
- Create a plan: Establish
a plan that gives your loved one the care he or
she needs and allows you to actually enjoy the time you have together.
- Solicit support: Caring for a
parent while working a full-time job and raising kids is emotionally
and physically draining. Surround yourself with people who care and be
willing to ask for help.
- Talk about finances: Long before
you think you need to, review your parents' insurance information to
understand their wishes and to make any changes together.
For more tips and tools to help navigate the complex insurance issues
associated with life in the sandwich generation, visit InsureUOnline.org.
1"The Sandwich Generation." http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/01/30/the-sandwich-generation/
About the NAIC
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S.
standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed
by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of
Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance
regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and
coordinate their regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts
and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and
internationally. NAIC members, together with the central resources of the
NAIC, form the national system of state-based insurance regulation in the
U.S. For more information, visit www.naic.org.