The Blatt Watch by Peter Blatt: The sandwich generation teaches us how to make informed financial decisions

From the desk of Peter Blatt, J.D., LL.M. 

A long term client of ours was unable to meet for our quarterly review. He asked me to reschedule it for a more convenient time as he was bringing his father to rehabilitation.  His father is 91 years old and our client has just hit 60. I offered to meet him at his home to review if it was more convenient, and he said, ‘I trust you, let’s just meet later this week to discuss the investments.’ He was driving and he had a few more minutes to talk and I asked him, what lessons has he learned in taking care of an elder parent. He said it is best to be patient, understanding, and help them make the best decisions.

He went on to say, ‘it is best to be educated on what to expect and learn from others.’ He mentioned a guide was essential in all things and he found comfort in knowing that others were going through similar experiences. We talked about how two conflicting emotions mark the beginning and end of being in the sandwich generation:  Both the ‘how did I get here’ (shock) and ‘I am glad I am here’ (pride).

I shared with him that it is similar in working with clients in financial planning. Each person is unique and goes through different levels of shock from poor prior advice to a feeling of trust (pride) that they are being educated and making informed decisions.

He thanked me for understanding that he is going through a difficult time and he knows that I am here for him. Sometimes one person’s story becomes universal and we all can relate. Let me know what I else I can do for you.