Here's another sign of the economic times: so-called "sandwich families," couples taking care of their children and an elderly parent or parents simultaneously. According to a Pew Research Center report, roughly 42 percent of Generation X families and a third of baby boomers meet that description.

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Children in these sandwich families may still be minors in some cases, but many times they are grown adults who cannot make it on their own.

The Pew report identifies these sandwich families, and the financial tug-of-war they encounter supporting their kids and their own parents while trying to keep several different balls in the air, including paying the mortgage.

Bruce McClary of ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions said some "sandwiches" have to set limits and boundaries.

"You really don't want to derail your financial situation even worse," he said. "If you're already in trouble, and somebody asks you for help, find other ways to help them that don't involve money."

McClary said there are ways to help adult children that may not involve money, such as opening career doors for them with business associates.

He also said the ClearPoint website has a number of tips for sandwich families. For that website, click here.

Additionally, you can view the 2013 Pew Research Center report by clicking here.