Money in the Middle

Sandwich Generation Talking About Money Up, Down and Across Generations

Signs of Financial Help for the Sandwich Generation

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The White House yesterday introduced new sandwich generation initiatives.  While it’s a long way from being reality, it’s a welcome nod to the financial challenges of baby boomers trying to save for their own retirement, help their children and aging parents. 

Here are the highlights from the White House statement:

  * Help Families with Soaring Child Care Costs: The administration proposes to nearly double the Child Care Tax Credit for families making under $85,000 a year; with families earning up to $115,000 a year seeing at least some increase in their credit.

  * Helping Families Pay for Care for Elderly Relatives: At the same time, middle class families in the “sandwich generation” – struggling to care for both their children and their parents – will also benefit from new initiatives to support elder care for seniors, and respite for their caregivers. 

 *Cap Payments on Student Loans: To avoid squeezing recent college graduates entering a tough job market, we will ensure that payments on federal student loans are never more than 10 percent of the borrower’s discretionary income.

 * Save for Retirement: The initiatives make it easier to save for retirement with voluntary Automatic IRAs for workers without access to existing retirement plans through their jobs, larger tax credits to match retirement savings for millions of additional workers, and new safeguards to protect retirement savings.

Details on Care for Aging Relatives.

An estimated 38 million Americans provide unpaid care to an aging relative, including approximately 23 million caregivers with jobs and 12 million who are also caring for their own children.

The $102.5 million Caregiver Initiative will ease the burden on families with elder care responsibilities and allow seniors to live in the community for as long as possible. The Initiative adds $52.5 million in funding to Department of Health and Human Services caregiver support programs that provide temporary respite care, counseling, training, and referrals to critical services. The extra funding will allow nearly 200,000 additional caregivers to be served and 3 million more hours of respite care to be provided. It also adds $50 million to programs that provide transportation help, adult day care, and in-home services, such as aides to help seniors bathe and cook, help which eases the burden for family members and helps seniors stay in their homes.

Will it happen?  In this political environment,  who knows but at least it’s recorntion of the increasing financial pressure faced by those in the middle.

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Written by Laura Rossman

January 26, 2010 at 2:37 pm

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