When it comes to communicating with the oldest generation about financial issues, Sherrard said she can come across as an objective party "because I'm not in a parent/child relationship with them."
For the sandwiched generation in the middle, Sherrard offers education on college-related issues, such as the need to set up a health-care power of attorney and health directive for kids in school. Also covered: how to manage spending expectations, such as private vs. in-state tuition costs, incidentals—e.g., books, spring break, pizzas—and cosigning credit cards.
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Sherrard also advises the college students themselves on how to get started in adult life, warning them about credit card offers and helping them understand that if they have money, people will prey on them.
The bottom line is the same no matter which part of the sandwich you are, said Pain at Effective Assets.
"You need to be a money-making machine, setting [aside] 25 percent toward your future," he said. "That's the reality, [and] you need to be doing it if you're 75 or you're 25."