More millennials and Gen Xers are being forced to dip into savings to help out the adults in their lives.
More than a quarter of households support either an elderly parent or an adult child, according to a recent Raymond James survey. A third of those have had to dip into savings in order to help out a family member.
Raymond James surveyed 1,000 adults ages 45 to 64 in July.
Rising health and education costs are part of the reason for these "sandwich" situations, the survey found. The term usually refers to parents who find themselves caring for their adult children and aging parents, sometimes at the same time.
"What's different now is the strains are more intense for a lot of households, particularly in the middle class," said Scott Brown, chief economist for Raymond James.
"Wage growth has been relatively stagnant, and we've seen education expenses rise, particularly after the recession."
The Great Recession put pressure on many state budgets, leading to cuts in public education funding. At the same time, it also meant lower yields for the safer assets traditionally sought for those approaching retirement, Brown said.
And caring for children or aging parents has made long-range financial planning more challenging for 40 percent of respondents in a Wells Fargo report from 2016.
Communication becomes even more important in these situations, according to several planners.
"Keep the communication open and flowing with all members of the family," said Patrick Amey, a certified financial planner at Overland Park, Kansas-based KHC Wealth Management.