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Family Matters: The Money Squeeze

Family Matters: The Money Squeeze

NPR Special Series: Three families, living in multigenerational households, face difficult financial decisions surrounding elder care, paying for college and retirement.

View this series on NPR.

  • The unconventional holidays this year present new challenges for practicing empathy with loved ones, along with the perennial issues, like talking…
  • The coronavirus pandemic has forced everyone indoors, where we're in much closer quarters with our families, spouses, and roommates. Without external…
  • Sharing the duties of caring for the family's 87-year-old matriarch has brought the Martin family closer together. Everyone in the multigenerational household, including the teenage kids, lends a hand. But the situation is also forcing the Harrisburg, Pa., family to think about the future in new ways.
  • Mothers and fathers can make a difference in whether their kids become spenders or savers, studies have found. Young people whose families had included them in conversations about money and budgets were much more likely to make more responsible financial decisions in the future.
  • Depressed home prices make the decision to move an aging relative even more difficult than normal. So what should be done with the house? Try selling in a depressed market? Or rent it until prices perk up? One family weighs a tough choice as it struggles to pay for a grandmother's care.
  • From your late 40s through early 60s, you're supposed to squirrel away cash to cope with health care costs in your old age. But for millions of Americans, middle age also is the time when children are seeking help with higher-education bills, and elderly parents may be needing assistance with daily care.
  • Nicholas McDonald grew up tempted by drugs and under pressure to hit the streets. Lacking male role models, he says he always saw his mom as "the apple of my eye." She tried to protect him growing up. Now, the 24-year-old is doing his best to return the favor, helping provide for his multigenerational family.
  • As the nation's roughly 78 million baby boomers move into old age, the need for long-term care will soar. But when it comes to long-term-care insurance, relatively few sign up. The policies can be expensive and some big insurance companies have stopped offering them.
  • Few people want to turn over a loved one to institutional care. No matter how good the nursing home, it may seem cold and impersonal — and very expensive. But making the choice to provide care yourself is fraught with financial risks and personal sacrifices.
  • As part of Morning Edition's Family Matters financial literacy series, Renee Montagne talks to Jane Gross, author of A Bittersweet Season, about caring for her aging mother, and what she wishes she had known before she started.