The sandwich generation is a term commonly used to refer to adults who are caring for their aging parents while still financially supporting their adult children. A new Pew Research Center study has provided some insight of the financial breakdown of caring for two generations. As stated in a Wall Street Journal article titled, “The Big Squeeze” the study found that 48% of adults age 40 to 59 provide some financial support to at least one grown child. In contrast, only 21% provide financial support to a parent age 65 or over.
These statistics make sense given the current economy. The recession hit young-adults the hardest while many seniors have savings to fall back on. While middle aged adults may spend more on children than parents, this study does not fully describe the challenges facing the sandwich generation.
Rather than financially propping up their parents, many adults find themselves investing time to help make sure that parents can continue to safely live at home. This often involves paying bills, grocery shopping, attending doctor’s appointments and other responsibilities. These caregiver type responsibilities can place significant demands on a child’s time in addition to the emotional toll that can be imposed.