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‘Sandwich generation’ caught between supporting parents and children

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by David Masters
'Sandwich generation' caught between supporting parents and children

UK adults are increasingly feeling the need to offer their parents financial support, but are struggling to find the cash to do this.

Research by Norwich Union found that two thirds (68%) of adults would like to help fund their parents’ retirement, but are unable to do so because of their own financial situation.

Nearly three quarters (72%) of those surveyed said they are concerned that their parents will struggle financially in retirement.

The most common fear is that parents will be unable to afford to stay in their existing home (60%).

Other worries include parents having to ‘do without’ the luxuries they’re used to (27%), and that they will be unable to afford the medical care they need (9%).

This sandwich generation – caught between the desire to help their parents and the need to look after their children – said their worries would be eased if they knew their parents had enough money for retirement.

Seven in ten (70%), however, said they feel uncomfortable talking to their parents about finances.

Furthermore, working adults are worried about how they will pay for their own retirement, let alone their parents.

“In the current climate there is a very real possibility that people are using their savings or taking a holiday on their own pension contributions to deal with the pressures of supporting young children and elderly relatives,” said Norwich Union’s Dominic Fraser-Smith.

He added: “Those in this situation need to look at their finances very carefully to balance their own needs – both now and in the future – with the immediate needs of their families.”

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News posted: February 17, 2009

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