This post is sponsored by Vail financial planner, Jeff Logsdon.

If you’ve flown out of Tucson International Airport lately, you’ve undoubtedly heard the part of the flight attendant’s introduction that says, “firmly secure your oxygen mask over your face before helping those around you.”

It’s good advice. How can you help your child if you’re not in a safe place yourself?

That same advice can be heeded in multiple aspects of life – especially financially. If you’re not financially stable, how can you help your children or parents get the financial support they need?

The Sandwich Generation

Many people in Vail are living in what’s called the “Sandwich Generation.” This term refers to a generation of adults who are caught between their financial obligations to their children and parents.

On one side, the parents are not in a financial position to be self-sustaining. That usually happens when they retire.

On the other side, this same generation of young adults is faced with the dilemma. Do they save for retirement? Or do they help their children by funding a college education?

What do you do when there’s just not enough money to go around? The decision is an emotional one, which can cloud judgement and make it difficult to find the best path for financial success.

How to Navigate the Murky Financial Waters

You’re undoubtedly faced with a litany of questions. Although these questions must be taken into consideration, the solution isn’t as complex as it appears on the surface.

Let’s return to the flight attendant’s advice. If you and your spouse are not in a position to care for yourselves first, it will become exponentially more difficult to care for a loved one. The best gift you can give your child is to be in a financially stable position. Doing so will remove the burden from your children to take care of you in your retirement years. Your child has time on his or her side. They have more years ahead where they can earn a living and build up their own retirement account.

But what about that college degree?

There are numerous ways children can get financial support for college. The Greater Vail Area Chamber of Commerce just awarded five scholarships to students in the Vail School District. The management team at Backus Realty in Coyote Creek awards a substantial scholarship each year to a Vail School District student. Finding these opportunities can alleviate your need to put your child through college and effectively drain your retirement savings.

Want more details or guidance? Working with a local financial planner can help. Call Jeff Logsdon today for a free financial plan.

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Lucretia Free