Dollars & Sense - Multi-Generation Planning

It used to be there were only three generations in a family, the grandparents, the adult children and the grandchildren. Now folks are living longer and we’re seeing fourth and fifth generation families. The financial impact of the demographic change from three to five generation family units has caused the family to focus on financial issues that cross generations. Aging parents who used to only live a few years after retiring are now living 15, 20, 30 years or more. When these retirees run out of money, it’s their children who will be called upon to supplement their parent’s income and potentially face the high costs of long-term care. It’s important to have heart-to-heart talks within the family about finances. Adult children always knew they’d need to set aside money for educating their own children. When it comes to caring for their aging parents, they may not know what they’ll be facing. To relieve some of the financial pressure on working couples, or avoid having ones’ parents dependent on Medicare, it may be advisable to purchase long-term care insurance for parents. It’s also important to have a hear-to-heart talk about estate planning. Business succession, gifting, Living Trusts, charitable donations, a Durable Power of Attorney, or Living Will are all things that need to be discussed now in anticipation of a time when such discussions may become uncomfortable or impossible. Schedule a family conference with an estate planning attorney and financial planner to help in facilitating these discussions. Please, don’t procrastinate!

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