The Perfect Recipe for a Balanced Life for the Sandwich Generation

 I think I’m like many Americans that struggle to find personal time amongst the chaos of working full time, raising two children, balancing family relationships, and other obligations (school, church, volunteer work, etc.).  And I am not even one of the many Americans between the ages of 40 and 60 who are raising children AND assisting aging parents.  If I have trouble finding time to balance my life with only one family to raise, how can these members of the “Sandwich Generation” do it?

I had a client of mine explain it this way, “You have to run your family like a business, that’s the bottom line.”  While there are certainly feelings and emotions that complicate the dynamics of these family situations, there has to be a way to get things done without sacrificing all of your time, your relationships, or your sanity. 

Here are 3 ways to managing your multi-tiered family like a business:

  1. Plan Strategically – The key here is to have a plan; to be proactive rather than reactive.  Know what has to be done, when it needs to be done, and how it will be paid for.   This includes creating master calendars for who needs to be where and arranging transportation).
  2. Manage Resources – Make sure you have the tools in place to make things happen (legal documents, financial resources, and human resources).  If you don’t have the pieces in place to make things happen when the time comes, you end up in crisis mode.  This involves making sure legal documents like durable powers of attorney are in place and arranging for help that is either paid or volunteer for things like care assistance, bill paying, etc.
  3. Departmentalize – You are the manager of the family business, which means you oversee but do not need to perform every task.  Make sure that the right people are handling the right tasks, and that everyone is doing their part.  This means involving all family members to do their share (including adult siblings) and hiring the right professionals to handle the duties that are outside your area of expertise (Geriatric Care Managers, Elder Law Attorneys, Financial Planners, etc.).

Before trying to handle every duty that comes managing a multi-tiered family, consider viewing your family like a business.  Doing so will ensure that everyone is served best, and will provide you time to maintain a balanced and quality life.

Please feel free to contact me for additional tips on establishing and managing your family business.

The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material.  The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.  Any opinions are those of Center for Financial Planning, Inc., and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.