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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FINANCIAL PRESSURE RISES FOR
"SANDWICH GENERATION"

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 financial well-being."

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.

For example:

  • 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.

 

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