Stuck in the middle: the sandwich generation

Are you saving enough for retirement? If you’re part of the so-called “sandwich generation,” chances are you’re half a million dollars short.

With people living longer, many Baby Boomers between the ages of 45 and 64 are looking after their children while caring for their aging parents, too. This not only eats away at their personal and professional lives but it puts pressure on their finances. From paying down the mortgage to saving for their children’s education as well as retirement, these sandwiched adults are feeling squeezed.

The numbers speak for themselves. According to a recent BMO Nesbitt Burns study, a whopping 55% of Canadian Baby Boomers are looking after children as well as aging relatives, and three-quarters (76%) admit that the stress of everyday living is making it hard to meet their long-term financial goals. Specifically, they think $818,000 is about right to have in the bank when they get set to retire, yet they’ve only saved $258,000 to date. That’s a huge difference.

Thankfully, a financial plan can help to ease the burden. When prepared thoughtfully, a financial plan becomes a blueprint for tracking and managing household budgets, savings and investments and, simultaneously, readying for the unexpected. With a sound financial plan in place, it’s that much easier to prioritize your life’s goals, leaving you more time to relax and find balance in this hectic thing we call life.

So why do only 40 per cent of those in the sandwich generation have a financial plan, according to the study? Perhaps it’s because they grew up fending for themselves. Much of what they have accomplished – getting an education, building a career, buying their first house – was done without the help of others. Yet given that so many are now half a million dollars short of their retirement goal, it appears they may need a bit of handholding when it comes to planning and prioritizing their finances for the future.

This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not and should not be construed as, professional advice to any individual. Individuals should contact their BMO representative for professional advice regarding their personal circumstances and/or financial position. The information contained in this report is based on material believed to be reliable, but BMO Financial Group cannot guarantee the information is accurate or complete. BMO Financial Group does not undertake to advise individuals as to a change in the information provided. All rights are reserved. No part of this report may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without the express written permission of BMO Financial Group. ®/™ Registered trade-marks/trade-marks of Bank of Montreal, used under license.