Co-habiting with parents and children is a new reality for many South Africans as purse strings continue to be pulled.
Juggling the financial needs of three generations under one roof can be stressful, emotionally and also on your wallet.
“If you are part of this sandwich generation, it’s important to try to alleviate some of the financial and mental pressure by managing the load as a family,” says Lee Hancox, Sanlam’s head of Channel and Segment.
Hancox shares her tips how to manage the situation:
1. Make peace with the reality
Try to find ways to accept the situation so you can channel your energy into finding real solutions that can secure the best future for everyone.
2. Your own needs have to be taken care of first
Try to establish firm boundaries from the start. Avoid using your personal savings such as retirement savings to support your family, unless there is no alternative. If you are confused on how to include everyone’s needs in your budget, speak to a financial adviser.
3. Life-changing decisions
If parents are in a position where they own a home but make the decision to move in with you, they can earn money through the sale of their property asset and some of the money made here can be used toward the new arrangement, or they could consider renting out their home to earn a supplementary income.
4. Turn a hobby into an income
Retirement is not the same as many older people continue to work as they get older. Empower your parents to turn their hobbies such as baking or sewing into an income for themselves. Many online learning institutions offer inexpensive courses or they can use learn skills to start a new career.
5. Get practical
Determine the needs of your dependants by cutting out the unnecessary expenses and focusing on essentials. Once this is taken care of, the rest can be added as and when you have the resources. Have honest conversations with your children to let them know what is affordable for you.
6. Lookout for discounts and grants for pensioners
Do your research and establish what the concessions, rebates, grants and discounts are that your parents qualify for.
7. Plan in advance
When you have extra cash, keep it aside for a future need you know will weigh heavily on you. Ensure you have all the right policies in place to protect you, your loved ones and your assets if the unforeseeable occurs. Make sure your will is updated.