Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The woes of the sandwich generation, and how to navigate these waters - HL Assurance

If you are a working adult between 30 — 50 years old, have a young growing family to nurture and ageing parents to take care of at the same time — you are well acquainted with the woes of the sandwich generation. Wedged between providing for two generations of dependents on a single pay check — it is hard not to feel the financial squeeze.

Having kids is expensive. According to research, raising one child from birth to 18 years old in Singapore will cost you between S$435,000 to S$904,000 depending on your household income. On top of that, your own parents might also hit the age for retirement, and look to you for financial support. Not to mention, unexpected expenditures like a broken fridge or medical assistance may come creeping up, and that may throw you off guard in your financial planning and take a toll over time.

How should you navigate these hard waters and keep your sanity?  

Have the talk

Broaching the money talk with your parents might be tough, but it is a necessary conversation. Open communication with your folks on your financial situation takes out the guesswork for their care plans and can be a huge help in making sense of your expectations from you. This will also allow you to set your boundaries and your plans for your children’s future. 

Mandatory medical checkups and get insured

Make it a habit to have the family go for annual medical health checks to detect any illness early and seek treatment. It is also imperative that you ensure all family members are insured with adequate insurance coverage like plans covering early critical illnesses on top of the basic ones, to bolster the financial burden. 

Healthcare costs will only continue to rise thanks to high medical inflation rate. Elderly healthcare costs in Singapore is projected to reach S$51,000 annually by 2030. You’d definitely like the peace of mind in knowing that you and your loved ones are financially supported in the event of an unfortunate diagnosis. 

Take time for yourself 

Balancing a full time job with needy children is already a daunting chore. With the additional dependence from your folks and the stigma of filial obligations, it is easy to feel stuck in the middle and potentially trigger mental health conditions due to the pressure. 

It is important take time out for yourself to unwind with your friends, setting aside time to participate in your hobbies, and finding healthy channels to cope with the stress, like talking to a friend or your spouse for emotional support.   

Plan your own retirement

Become the last of this sandwich generation, and plan for your own retirement so that you can break out of this cycle. We are living in the time of technology and are far better equipped with investment knowledge and financial information at our fingertips as compared to our parents. Don’t let your own children suffer the same fate because of your lack of planning now. 

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