The Sandwich Generation was a term coined by Dorothy Miller in 1981 to describe adult children who were “sandwiched” between their aging parents and their own maturing children. There is even a term for those of us who are in our 50’s or 60’s with elderly parents, adult children and grandchildren – the Club Sandwich. More recently, the Boomerang Generation (the estimated 29% of adults ranging in ages 25 to 34, who live with their parents), are adding to the financial pressures as Boomers head into retirement. It is estimated that by 2026, 1 in 5 Canadians will be older than 65. This means fewer adults to both fund and provide for elder care. Today, it is likely that the average married couple will have more living parents than they do children.
What are the challenges?
The truth is that many members of the Sandwich Generation find the circumstances are both emotionally and financially draining. In the past, women have been looked upon to provide the primary care giving in the home while men take care of the income needs. Today, roles have changed with the majority of working age women employed outside of the home. As a result, financially, both parents are looked upon to provide for the family. For The Sandwich Generation helping their parents and their children at the same time, creates a stress that can affect both their mental and physical health.
Risk Management in the Sandwich Generation
Having an effective financial plan becomes key in dealing with the challenges. As the main breadwinner in this situation it is possible that three generations are dependent upon you. One of the first issues to be addressed then is how you protect your revenue stream.
5 Steps to Minimize risk for the Sandwich Generation
As you can see, being part of the Sandwich Generation can be very stressful – emotionally and financially. Having someone to talk to or being part of a support group dealing with this issue, will certainly help manage the emotional challenges. Sitting down with a financial advisor or estate planner will help you determine what strategies you may need to implement to provide the financial security your family needs.
Alex Chan, RHU, CHS, CFSB, CPCA, EPC, CFP, CLU | Certified Financial Planner & Chartered Life Underwriter
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