Organize your financial records including brokerage statements, bank records and insurance documents.
Start retirement planning early. Review your investments in relation to your financial goals and risk tolerance.
Inquire whether your broker or financial adviser is registered to sell investments or provide advice.
Create a realistic budget and control your debt
To help your children:
Teach your children about basic financial concepts and model responsible money management.
Consider the impact of using your retirement assets for your children’s education.
Decide if you are going to pay for your children’s education:
Talk to your children about exploring education financing options.
Set financial ground rules and expectations when adult children (boomerang kids) move back home.
To help your aging parents
Initiate a dialogue about financial matters with your elderly parents.
With their permission, have copies of their estate planning documents and make sure all forms are current.
Know the location of their assets (insurance documents, retirement plans, and other investments) and ensure you can access them if required.
Know your parents’ advisers and find out about their other sources of information (e.g. accountants, doctors, financial planners)
Agencies that can help (Thanks to http://www.nasaa.org/ for this information)
AARP Nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50 and over
– Provides a host of information and services that are important to members in this age group.
CARP With close to 400,000 members, CARP is Canada's largest organization for the 50+
CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) Provides answers and assistance to tax related questions.
FCAC (Financial Consumer Agency of Canada) Provides consumers with accurate
and objective information about financial products and services, and informs Canadians of their rights and responsibilities when dealing with financial institutions.
FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) –formerly NASD & NYSE Largest non-governmental regulator: provides information about the latest securities scams, back-ground history about investment firms and brokers and supplies forms for complaints.
FTC (U.S. Federal Trade Commission)Provides consumer protection against
abusive lending, identity theft, businesses, and telemarketing.
(Consumer Response Center) IRS (Internal Revenue Service) Provides answers and assistance to American tax related questions.
R.C.M.P. Federal policing agent. Has a commercial crime unit, provides information on scams and fraud.
SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) Licenses & Regulates:National securities
exchanges, investment companies, and investment advisors
Education and Advocacy) Social Security Administration Provides information on how to calculate retirement benefits estimates, when benefits will be paid, and how much taxes
have to be paid on benefits.
United States Federal Bureau of Investigation Investigates securities fraud, mortgage
fraud, identity theft, and internet fraud cases
Finally, advisors recommend that sandwich generation people consider various key steps to help reach their goals:
- Teach your kids well. Young adults starting out today face financial obstacles that you probably never encountered. It’s never too early to teach them about saving, making smart purchases, and the importance of managing their money.
- Start saving now. When it comes to financial planning, nothing beats the power of investment compounding. The sooner you start a college fund for your children and a retirement nest egg for yourself, the more options and opportunities you create for you and your family down the road.
- Talk to your parents. Yes, they may be old-school and uncomfortable discussing their finances with you. If they won’t talk with you about their income and assets, maybe they’ll sit down with your financial advisor to discuss their current situation and their plans for the years ahead. That conversation could give all of you more comfort.
- Consider long-term-care insurance. If your parents have needed nursing home care, you know how those costs can impact even the best investment plan. Buying long-term-care insurance for yourself could spare your kids the cost later. And the earlier you purchase a policy, the more affordable it usually is.
For many, depleting their savings to help their parents and their kids can add up to an unsustainable burden, not to mention pushing off their own retirement date. If you do not plan, and you keep on keep supporting everyone else you are going to run out of money. So take the time to inform yourself, and plan for this part of our generations responsibility.