In the spring of 2019 Leger conducted The Sandwich Generation Survey that helps us understand this financial challenge. One in four Canadians in the sandwich generation expect to put their own financial goals on hold as a result of providing financial assistance to both their children and parents.
Unfortunately, the majority of those under financial stress have not addressed this issue in their financial plan. Only one in four have included this reality in their financial plan.
The result is a lot of financial stress.
In Ontario 39 per cent of those surveyed who have children and at least one living parent anticipate assisting both their children and parents financially. Women are significantly more likely to feel financial support is needed than men.
If this is a modern-day reality it is imperative that this financial responsibility is incorporated in the financial planning process.
Start a conversation. Speak with your children and parents. Involve your financial planner by informing them of your wishes.
There are tax deductions available to assist with post-secondary education expenses for your children as well as tax savings resulting from home renovations to accommodate seniors. However, less than half of those surveyed were familiar with any of the financial tools available to help them cope.
I recommend financial planning include all aspects of your life. And that most certainly includes the financial costs in caring for your children and financially dependent parents.
What happens if you have to take time off work to assist your parents? What happens if the financial responsibility for aging parents is not shared equally between you and your siblings?
Which of your financial objectives are not met because of unanticipated expenses? Will you delay your time to retire or have less spending money available to you during retirement?
Understanding financial costs to support family members is an important consideration in your overall financial well-being.