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The Sandwich Generation: You Are Not Alone

Parents are living longer now than ever before, and for many people between the ages of 40 and 65, that means simultaneously taking care of their parents and children.

If you are part of this responsibility-laden age group, you are part of the "Sandwich Generation" -- because you're sandwiched between providing for your kids and caring for your aging parents.

The emotional and financial burdens can be intense, but you are not alone.

According to a Pew Research Center survey, 48 percent of adults aged 40 to 59 said they had provided some measure of financial support to a grown child in the past year, and 21 percent said they had provided financial support to a parent aged 65 or older in the past year.

Additionally, "sandwichers" have to provide emotional support and guidance to their children and parents.

Responsibilities can pull you in multiple directions.

It is becoming more common for people in their 40s and 50s to have to scale back on work hours in order to care for aging parents. You might spend an average of 20 hours a week doing this -- and that can take a huge toll on you, emotionally and financially.

Statistics show that women in their 40s and 50s are especially affected by their responsibility to care simultaneously for their parents and their own children.

The good news is help is available.

Support groups exist in Texas and Oklahoma for individuals and families dealing with the issues described here. Seminars are also a great way to connect with resources and other people with similar responsibilities and concerns.

If you need to address matters of elder care and inheritance, you can also use a variety of estate planning tools to achieve your goals. Such tools include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, VA pension benefits and Medicaid planning. For more on these matters, please see Whatley Wilcox PLLC's main elder law website.

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