'Sandwich generation' lauds WA's long-term care savings program
Monday, November 20, 2023
Washingtonians with kids and older parents in need of care are praising the peace of mind the state's new retirement savings program is providing them.
Working, middle-aged people caring for kids and their parents are considered members of the sandwich generation. The WA Cares Fund will provide benefits so that people can pay for long term care.
Kristin Hyde said her father needs at-home care and would have benefited from the fund.
She said she worries that without the fund, her pre-existing condition would have kept her from receiving coverage.
"I even make a decent income," said Hyde, "but I know that as a working mom with a kid in college, it's really impossible for me to set aside tens of thousands of dollars into a safety nest egg in case I need care some day."
Starting in 2026, Washingtonians will have access to up to $36,500 in benefits from the WA Cares Fund. Workers started automatically contributing a little more than 0.5% of their paychecks into the fund in July 2023.
Rivka Burstein-Stern has two children and her parents live with her. She said she's lucky that her parents are able to support themselves.
"It is scary to think how financially ruinous it can be," said Burstein-Stern, "if there's not support to give them the care that they need."
Dana Barnett has a child and parents who don't yet need care. But she said it's stressful to think about and she's thankful the WA Cares Fund will one day help her.
"I can just imagine it being so helpful," said Barnett, "and it gives me a sense of relief just thinking about it being out there for myself and also for others in my community."
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