Almost half (47%) of the participants in the so-called “sandwich generation” indicated that they are delaying their retirement plans To provide financial assistance to their elderly extended family members or their adult children, with 46% of their retirement savings used to cover these costs, according to a new study from Athena.
Called the “sandwich generation” because of their responsibilities to older parents (mostly baby boomers) on the one hand and their children on the other, a large number of individuals between the ages of 40 and 59 find themselves carers for both older and younger relatives, all of them while trying to reach their own financial goals. In a survey of Americans in this age group who have children, 76% stated that they support their children financially Adult childrenAnd 63% said they provide financial assistance to their elderly parents.
Of all the participants, which included more than 400 adults, 55% reported annual income of less than $100,000. The main concern of this group was insufficient retirement savings, followed by concerns about not being able to maintain their desired lifestyle during retirement. Among those earning more than $100,000 annually, 66% shared the same concern about maintaining their standard of living after retirement.
“For many who are part of the sandwich generation, they may face the unique challenge of supporting multiple generations while also trying to keep their own goals in mind,” the report states. “This will require a flexible financial plan and enabling their family members to participate in their financial future.”
When the sandwich generation considers retirement, 66% expect to rely on Social Security as their primary source of income, followed by 401(k) accounts and investments. Nearly a quarter of the respondents included annuities in their portfolios.
Of course, with nearly 50% ready to retire without delay, another 50% of respondents indicated that their support for family members did not affect their retirement goals.
In addition to direct financial support, members of the sandwich generation often manage financial problems for their children and parents, according to the researchers. The study revealed that many heads of household serve as sources of financial education for their adult children, including helping to open bank accounts, explaining credit and debt concepts, discussing budget management and promoting healthy financial habits. Furthermore, the report also noted that some group members help their parents plan health care costs, estate planning, and manage retirement income.
Analysis of the study responses revealed significant differences between how men and women approach financial decision-making, seek professional financial guidance, and their general confidence in being financial service providers. The study determined that males are more likely to assume sole decision-making roles within the household, collaborate with financial professionals, and display greater confidence in their ability to care for adult children and the extended family. Women were less confident, with only a small percentage seeking help from financial professionals.
Athene’s research surveyed 409 Americans ages 40 to 59 who financially supported adult children aged 18 or older and had parents or extended family members living with them. The survey was conducted from February 21 to March 7.