Three Coping Strategies for the Sandwich Generation

You’re focused on hitting a big deadline at work when your father calls and asks—once again—what time you will visit him tomorrow. He seems very forgetful lately. As you worry about his well-being, your daughter texts you because she’s stressed about exams. Now you’re worried about her, too. If you’re caring for your own family and are also increasingly responsible for one or both parents’ care, welcome to the “sandwich generation,” which can wreak havoc on your financial plan.

What is the sandwich generation?

Generally, it’s the group of individuals who fall into the demographic of people simultaneously providing support to—or being completely responsible for—children and parents (or other aging relatives). We believe a few factors have made the sandwich generation a significant phenomenon, particularly for women in their 40s, 50s and early 60s. First, it’s becoming more common for people to wait longer to have children.1 Second, life expectancy is generally increasing.2 Given these factors, the window of time in which people may be called upon to care for both children and parents is increasing. According to the Family Care Alliance, a nonprofit association representing caregivers, fully two-thirds of family caregivers are women.3 In addition, a February 2020 New York Times survey found that among respondents caring for older family members, 32% said they had made financial sacrifices, while 28% had made career sacrifices to do so.4

If you find yourself struggling with juggling work and cross-generational caregiving responsibilities, you’re not alone. Many people find themselves in the sandwich generation, so we understand it can be a challenging phase. To help you cope, we highlight three important areas on which you can focus right now.

1. Get the legal paperwork done

As parents age and face new health, cognitive and financial concerns, you may need to become more involved in managing their affairs. To do so, you’ll likely need to produce various legal documents that will give you permission to speak with doctors, financial institutions and others, as well as make a variety of medical and financial decisions, if needed, on your loved one’s behalf. These documents might typically include a power of attorney, which gives you a defined amount of legal authority to act on the individual’s behalf, and a health care directive or proxy, allowing you to make medical decisions for the individual. Be sure the paperwork is complete so you don’t run into any legal issues that could cause a delay in taking action.

Once these documents are in place, you’ll be authorized to speak to doctors about care, make financial transactions and take other actions necessary to ensure your parents’ well-being.

2. Conduct a financial check-up

Take note of what financial circumstances you’re facing. Good financial habits have a wide-ranging impact on many aspects of your life. You’ve likely worked hard to instill those habits in your children. However, as parents age, it’s not uncommon for them to find tending to financial matters more challenging. They may avoid dealing with unexpected expenses on a fixed budget or have trouble sticking to their spending plan if they’re experiencing cognitive decline.

We suggest working with your loved ones to develop a system for paying bills, managing tax payments and ensuring that other financial matters are handled. Depending on the complexity of your family’s wealth, you may hire a bill-paying service or assign a trusted member of the family to assist monthly. While the conversation may be difficult initially, getting the older generation’s finances in order can help everyone gain greater peace of mind.

3. Create a financial road map

Know what your financial path is and your options. Caregiving comes with certain financial responsibilities. You may have older children who need help with college or who have launched their careers but still need some assistance now and then. At the same time, your parents may encounter unexpected expenses they need help with, such as requiring additional care in their homes. You’re caught between concerns about your kid’s financial security and questions about your parents’ financial well-being as they age. Somehow, your own financial security needs to be part of the equation, too. Don’t neglect your own finances!

We believe this is a critical time to create or update your financial plan. By taking stock of where you are in terms of your financial goals—and where you may be headed—you can develop a clearer picture of how and where you may help family members. Your financial plan is a road map that shows you the financial implications of your decisions. It can help provide the clarity you need to make the right decisions for your entire family.

If you’re in the sandwich generation and are feeling challenged, reach out to your Corient Wealth Advisor to help you think through, map out and navigate the path ahead.




Abigail Rosen, MS Financial Planning

Abigail Rosen, MS Financial Planning

Partner, Wealth Advisor

Abby is a Partner, Wealth Advisor in our Morristown, NJ, office. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with over 17 years of experience in the financial industry. Prior to her career in finance, Abby was an officer in the United States Navy. Abby specializes in working with corporate executives to help them take full advantage of their available benefits, implement with respect to employer stock concentrations and manage their stock option strategies. She has a designation in Global Financial Planning. Previously, she served at legacy firm RegentAtlantic as a Wealth Advisor and Co-Head of the Corporate Executives Group.


She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the College of the Holy Cross and received a Master of Science (distinction) in Financial Planning from Bentley University. She was 2020 Citizen of the Year for her work as treasurer of the New Jersey Psychological Association Foundation and is treasurer of the Harding Township Educational Foundation (HTEF) and a Girl Scout troop leader.

Barbara Bilello

Barbara Bilello

Partner, Wealth Advisor

Barbara has provided the tailored services and customized advice that help high-net-worth clients to build and protect their wealth across generations since 1996.

Barbara joined CI RegentAtlantic in 2017, was named co-chair of the firm’s Wall Street Women Forum in 2021, was named as Partner in 2021, and is currently launching the firm’s LGBTQ+ practice. Her previous experience includes positions with U.S. Trust and Goldman, Sachs & Co. Barbara holds a bachelor’s degree from Providence College in Rhode Island.

A sought-after speaker on wealth management and an active volunteer, Barbara has helped to provide early learning experiences for young children, raise funds for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), mentor women, and ensure the LGBTQ+ community gets the representation, advice and strategies they need to succeed. She and her family split their time between Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Jane Newton, CFP®, MBA

Jane Newton, CFP®, MBA

Partner, Wealth Advisor

Jane is a Partner, Wealth Advisor in our Morristown, NJ, and New York City offices. She advises individuals and families to help them realize their financial and personal objectives. Drawing on her Wall Street background, Jane has a particular focus on the unique planning and investment needs of women on Wall Street. Her expertise includes addressing the challenges of employer stock-related compensation and evaluating career options.  Jane shows clients what’s possible to help them make sound, informed decisions to advance their goals, with well-designed investment portfolios and advice on critical planning needs and opportunities. In 2010, Jane founded the RegentAtlantic Wall Street Women Forum® for high-level women in the industry. Jane joined legacy firm RegentAtlantic in 2005, with 17 years of prior experience in J.P. Morgan's investment banking and private banking groups. A sought-after speaker on wealth management and women’s advancement, Jane has been quoted and profiled in a number of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune and The New York Times. Jane received a BA in Economics from Tufts University and an MBA in Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business, and she holds the CFP® certification. Jane is a member of the Women’s Bond Club, 100 Women in Finance and The New York Community Trust’s Women’s Advisory Council.


This information is for educational purposes and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax, insurance, or investment advice.  This does not constitute an offer to provide any services, nor a solicitation to purchase securities. The contents are not intended to be advice tailored to any particular person or situation. We believe the information provided is accurate and reliable, but do not warrant it as to completeness or accuracy.  This information may include opinions or forecasts, including investment strategies and economic and market conditions; however, there is no guarantee that such opinions or forecasts will prove to be correct, and they also may change without notice.  We encourage you to speak with a qualified professional regarding your scenario and the then-current applicable laws and rules.

Advisory services are offered through Corient Private Wealth LLC and its affiliates, each being a registered investment adviser (“RIA”) regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).  The advisory services are only offered in jurisdictions where the RIA is appropriately registered.  The use of the term “registered” does not imply any particular level of skill or training and does not imply any approval by the SEC. For a complete discussion of the scope of advisory services offered, fees, and other disclosures, please review the RIA’s Disclosure Brochure (Form ADV Part 2A) and Form CRS, available upon request from the RIA and online at We also encourage you to review the RIA’s Privacy Policy and Code of Ethics, which are available upon request.

Our clients must, in writing, advise us of personal, financial, or investment objective changes and any restrictions desired on our services so that we may re-evaluate any previous recommendations and adjust our advisory services as needed. For current clients, please advise us immediately if you are not receiving monthly account statements from your custodian. We encourage you to compare your custodial statements to any information we provide to you.