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Yes Virginia...This is a Holiday Inn

According to a recent study released by the U.S. Census Bureau, more Millennials are living with their parents than in any other living arrangement, with one in three 18-34-year-olds living at home. Add to this the fact that according to The National Alliance for Caregiving, 22% of American households are providing some level of financial or emotional support for an aging loved one, and you have the classic description of the sandwich generation. Now I should pause to state (as I tap on my wooden desk) that none of my four grown children, aged 25-32 live at home. That's not to say we don't have to provide occasional support or that they don't struggle financially. They all do. But they prefer the struggle over being dependent, and for that I am both proud and grateful.

Among the findings from the Census Bureau study:

  • In the 1970s, 8 in 10 people married by the time they turned 30. Today, not until the age of 45 have 8 in 10 people married.
  • In 2005, the majority of young adults lived independently in their own household, which was the predominant living arrangement in 35 states. A decade later, by 2015, the number of states where the majority of young people lived independently fell to just six.
  • More young men are falling to the bottom of the income ladder. In 1975, only 25 percent of men, aged 25 to 34, had incomes of less than $30,000 per year. By 2016, that share rose to 41 percent of young men. (Incomes for both years are in 2015 dollars.)
  • Between 1975 and 2016, the share of young women who were homemakers fell from 43 percent to 14 percent of all women aged 25 to 34.

And the one that really sticks out to me...

Of young people living in their parents’ home, 1 in 4 are idle, that is they neither go to school nor work. This figure represents about 2.2 million 25- to 34-year-olds. 

Reminds me of this classic commercial.

Know When to Introduce Humor
Category: Humor
Tags: Humor Wills Family Conflict

A few years ago I hosted a family meeting in my company's office conference room that I knew was going to be quite contentious. The meeting was going to include the children of the deceased father and the step-mother and her two children. All six were inexplicably named as members of a committee that could fire and replace the trustee for a trust created under Dad's will. The children of Dad felt that they had been bamboozled out of their inheritance because prior to Dad's death, the couple had put most of their assets into a limited liability company (LLC) that was to be controlled by Step-Mom but owned by the trust, for which my company served as trustee. It was a perfectly legitimate asset protection strategy, but understandably confusing to Dad's kids who felt that Step-Mom had done something behind their backs.

I thought I'd try to lighten the mood of the meeting by playing this commercial that I had seen several times, thought was funny. Needless to say, it went over like a lead balloon and I learned a valuable lesson that day about when NOT to introduce humor into a serious situation.

I still think the commercial is funny and I'll continue to look for an opportunity to use it. Enjoy!

Caregiving and Family Relationships

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy states that “more than ever before, families are providing long-term care to older adults with limitations in the ability to perform tasks necessary for independent living. Nearly 25% of American households are providing care to people age 50 years and over. Families are the alternative foundation for a stressed healthcare system. Hospital stays are shorter than ever and family caregivers are often expected to do what healthcare professionals once did.”

Family caregivers take over various responsibilities for their elders. It may be just handling finances, running errands, going to doctor appointments or taking on full 24 hour care services. In most cases one sibling in the family will become the main caregiver, but most successful ventures are supported by the entire family.

There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child. This may be true, but it takes a family to care for an aging parent. As seniors lose physical and cognitive function they become vulnerable and unable to manage their own care. Who better to know their needs and desires than their own children. Even if professional care givers are providing services, family involvement makes the difference in quality of life for their parents.

“If one family member has been designated caregiver other members can give support with respite care, transportation to doctors, etc., everyone needs to be aware of all that is needed and be in total agreement to do it”. “The 4 Steps of Long Term Care Planning”

Experience has shown that even families that are close can quickly grow angry, jealous and hostile towards each other when an aging parent begins to need long term care. If a sibling moves into the parent’s home, others can easily be suspicious of ulterior motives and fear to lose their inheritance. On the other hand, the child doing the entire care taking becomes bitter and feels there is no support or help from siblings.

One example of a family misunderstanding is that of a brother accusing his sister of stealing all of the money from the sale of his parent’s home.

Karen, who was a single mom with two children, moved in with her parents when her father had a stroke to help her mother take care of him. Her mother was also disabled. Needing money to pay for a home care service, Karen helped her mother do a reverse mortgage on the home, which gave the needed funds. If communication had been open and Karen’s brother had known the need and been involved with his parents care, he would not have reacted so negatively when he eventually found out about the reverse mortgage.

Every family is different. Some families are close and some have never been compatible. If your communication is strained, consider having a professional mediator present at a family meeting. The mediator will be able to keep things calm and running smoothly and help work out each persons concern.

Family matters. The experience of working together for their parents care can give aging parents and family members a peaceful, memorable experience.

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Monday, June 26, 2017
Yes Virginia...This is a Holiday Inn
Thursday, June 08, 2017
Know When to Introduce Humor
Friday, August 12, 2016
Caregiving and Family Relationships

 

 

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