Envision Financial

Under Pressure: The Sandwich Generation

The importance of financial planning is ever more important for sandwich generation

More and more working Canadians are finding themselves having to take care of both their children and elderly parents. This is a growing demographic group, which experts have dubbed the sandwich generation. Made up of people in their 40s and 50s who should be taking the last few laps before retirement, this demographic is facing increasing financial pressures as they juggle careers, family commitments and personal well-being.

According to research published with Statistics Canada, 30% of Canadian professionals are balancing childcare and caring for older family members while trying to further their own careers and get ahead financially. Envision Financial Senior Wealth Advisor Brett Clark explains that the breakdown tends to happen as their children head off to university and their parents struggle to afford the costs of care homes or home support.

“Many people believe this means a slight overlap between taking care of children and taking care of parents but with reduced job opportunities and excessive housing costs, children are staying home dramatically longer than previous generations,” Clark says. “As well, more seniors are retiring in debt with fewer and fewer having the needed pensions to support them.”

Additional studies also revealed employees who are caregivers experience high levels of stress due to their juggling responsibilities and that 20% of them have had to turn down a promotion because they were unable to take on additional responsibilities at work. A situation that can have a long-term effect on earning potential.

Given the sandwich generation will continue to grow as the population ages and as Generation Xers delay starting families, Clark says it is important for people to be aware of additional family and financial responsibilities they may face. From paying down a mortgage, to child care costs, to caring for aging parents, to saving for their own retirement, the sandwich generation finds itself under increasing pressure. Not surprisingly, figures from one study also showed 40 per cent of survey respondents reported high levels of overload both at work and at home.

According to Clark, having a solid financial plan in place can help prevent financial headaches from adding to the stress.

“Without a plan, these unexpected prolonged costs can spiral and leave people unprepared for their own retirement and potentially unable to even help their children or parents in the long term,” says Clark. “Many financial institutions, including Envision Financial, can effectively and efficiently help plan for your future while preparing for worst case scenarios.”

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