They're the sandwich generation - usually in their 50s and helping to manage life and finances for aging parents as well as children. If there's time, "sandwiches" may try to manage themselves, too.
Financial literacy. This page from 360 Financial Literacy provides a highly useful list of articles, tools, and FAQs aimed at sandwiches who may be trying to figure out how to pay parents' medical expenses and children's college bills and saving for retirement all at the same time. Is it coldhearted - or just practical - to call up the life-expectancy calculator with dear old Dad and Mom in mind? Up to you. Guides show how to navigate the labyrinths of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
Sandwich show. In this clip from the Early Show on CBS, financial author and talk show host Dave Ramsey answers viewers' questions, such as one about how to make a parent's money last once he or she has gone into a nursing home. For starters, he says, long-term-care insurance is a must.
Dave Ramsey's anti-debt-themed advice is hard to contradict in these recessionary times. Here's his site:
Careful elder care. The site, Caring.com, says it is for the "more than 34 million of you today caring for parents, grandparents, and other aging relatives." It fosters a community atmosphere with resources for dealing with many issues beyond the financial, including senior driving, depression, and end-of-life issues.
Managing stress. An article from the American Psychological Association urges some simple steps in dealing with economic stress. Though focused on responding to stress induced by bad economic news, the steps can be applied to the personal stresses of sandwiches. For starters, it says, "pause, but don't panic." After that, you have to identify the problem, make a plan, decide you are going to deal with the stress instead of ignoring it, and seek professional help as needed.