Spread thinly between supporting their ageing parents and helping their own children find a stable financial footing, a generation of Australians find themselves sandwiched in the middle. It may seem overwhelming but with proper planning, you can escape the sandwich, support those you care for and still live the life you want.
Whether you look up or down your family tree, demographic and economic changes in Australia mean more of the people you care about are likely to need financial support.
Looking up the family tree
People are living longer. In 1901, only 4% of Australians were aged 65 years or older. By 2010, this figure had risen to 13.5%, and is estimated to increase to up to 23% by 2041.*
As your parents age you may be called on to care for them in ways you may not be emotionally and financially prepared for. While the likelihood and timing of these events will vary, you can plan for them with strategies that include:
- Legal measures such as enduring power of attorney give you the power to make financial decisions on behalf of your parents. If they lose capacity, it makes it much easier for you to make decisions that protect them and their assets.
- Expert investment planning can help your parents purchase aged care or nursing home accommodation and services if the need arises.
- Appointing a professional trustee to manage day-to-day financial affairs for your parents can ensure their assets are expertly managed, allowing you to spend time with your parents rather than their accountants.
Looking down the family tree
Looking down the family tree means looking out for your children, no matter how old they are. Good financial pre-planning for your children can cover a range of issues:
- Helping them buy their own home, but doing so in a way that doesn’t affect your own future lifestyle. Tax, superannuation, insurance and estate planning approaches can make this possible.
- Ensuring your children or grandchildren are carefully considered in situations such as divorce or blended families.
- Protecting vulnerable children. Some children need extra care, and money alone isn’t enough.
Plan for your peace of mind
The reality is that someone you care about is likely to need your financial assistance at some point – it may be your parents, your partner, children or grandchildren. That’s why it’s so important to look up and down the family tree when reviewing or planning your financial future. And that includes looking after yourself with the right medical and life insurance cover.
A plan will help you secure your financial future in a tax effective way, underpinned by thoughtful consideration rather than being created under the emotional weight of an emergency.
Take the first step with our free book
Perpetual has created a guide with practical tips to help you secure the retirement income you need, protect your wealth and safeguard your family’s financial future.
* Australian Bureau of Statistics