There comes a point in many people’s lives when they need to raise their own young family while supporting their elderly parents. Having two sets of dependents – being “sandwiched” between them – presents a number of challenges. For one thing, it can take quite a toll on your finances. This is why some insurers are coming up with specific insurance plans that help reduce those pressures by covering three generations of family rather than two. We asked the team from Pacific Prime Singapore to explain how this works.
What is the sandwich generation?
Are you caring for your ageing parents while taking care of your own children and partner? Then you are part of the sandwich generation. In short, anyone between the ages of 35 and 59 who is a caregiver for both their children and parents at the same time can be considered to be part of this growing group.
What are some of the challenges they face?
Supporting both children and parents requires a tremendous amount of time, effort, commitment, and resources – notably finances. Costs add up, ultimately affecting savings and financial planning. The 2018 edition of the Global Parents Survey found that the main sources of worry for parents in Singapore are the academic pressure on their children and the cost of living. For one, sending your kids to school here can be expensive. Fees aside, there are also miscellaneous costs such as transport, school uniforms, books and devices. As children grow older, you’d also need to consider saving for their university fees.
Meanwhile, as your parents age, their susceptibility to illness becomes greater. You may need to make more frequent trips back home to visit them or to finance their medical fees if they have retired. This can exert a lot of pressure both emotionally and financially.
Expats who are part of the sandwich generation face even greater pressure as they may not have a good support network in the country where they’re living.
Caregivers should be aware of the following:
#1 Burning out both physically and mentally
The energy you use during work and then to give time to children and parents can be really draining. You may experience guilt and isolation as a result of not fulfilling the needs of your dependents fully, and physically you may become weaker or more lethargic from a lack of sleep.
#2 Monitoring your health
Getting your health checked from time to time can ensure that you’re not at risk from any unidentified problems. Pacific Prime Singapore offers comprehensive individual health insurance plans that you can choose from to facilitate regular checks.
#3 Pre-existing conditions
Whether they’re living in Singapore, back home or elsewhere in the world, consider looking into getting individual health insurance cover for your parents as soon as possible, if they’re not covered in this way. The younger they are, the better. By preparing sooner and ensuring your parents are fully covered before a condition arises, you can really save on the cost of premiums and any extra cost arising from a newly diagnosed condition. When it comes to securing health insurance for your ageing parents’ pre-existing conditions, it may be challenging to find cover. Insurance companies may charge higher premiums or exclude them altogether.
Insurance policy to cover three generations
Some insurers have released new policies to cover three generations of a family comprising of the policyholder (caregiver), children and parents. As caregivers account for roughly 25 percent of adults in Singapore, this new policy helps to ensure that their financial planning and savings aren’t affected. With this policy, the holder is insured against death, total and permanent disability, terminal illness and 53 critical illnesses for an assured amount ranging from S$50,000 to S$3 million. This comprehensive policy covers individuals up to the age of 85.
Every child of the policy-holder, including those unborn, is given free coverage until the age of 18 against 53 various critical illnesses and 25 juvenile health problems. Moreover, no policy application or medical assessment is required. For every child, the lump payment is capped at S$50,000 and the policyholder can buy an optional rider for his or her aged parents without any medical underwriting, as long as they’re under 80 at the time the policy is bought.
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