One consequence of an ageing population and delayed parenthood is the growing number of people who are left sacrificing their own time, wellbeing and finances in order to care for those around them. And it’s very easy for this group to simply focus on surviving rather than thriving.
The ‘sandwich generation’
This term was first coined in the 1980s to describe adults ‘sandwiched’ between a dependent child and an adult relative requiring care. And estimates3 suggest this group now represent a sizeable chunk of the UK population, with almost four million people in the sandwich generation.
This group of people face increased financial strain in the best of times, and even more so during the current coronavirus crisis as they are facing additional challenges, with the pandemic impacting jobs, businesses, schools and home life.
A fundamental problem facing the sandwiched is that the dual challenge of caring for younger and older relatives can leave them incredibly time poor. Indeed, research3 suggests almost half of this group devote less than 35 minutes a day to themselves. In other words, putting themselves in the picture represents a genuine challenge.
Plan, plan, plan
However, while it may seem unnatural for the sandwiched to consider their own needs, it is vital they do so, particularly in relation to their finances. It’s therefore imperative to secure financial stability by planning diligently, saving carefully and keeping retirement provision a top priority. Seeking sound professional advice and developing an effective financial plan is therefore arguably more important for the sandwich generation than any other group.
It can be tempting to try to predict the future, or react to events as they happen. Talking to a financial adviser can help you make a financial plan in a calm, rational way, rather than reacting to news stories or your own emotions. Putting the right plan in place will allow greater opportunities to build wealth over time – fulfilling retirement plans while still supporting other generations.
Maybe use your time in lockdown to give your budget a spring clean. Are there monthly costs that you could eliminate or reduce? Are you using available tax breaks? You may even find there is an opportunity to make the most of a fall in share prices and invest for the future.
Get in touch with one of our financial advisers today, to help get you on your way to a secure future.
3Aviva/YouGov, March 2019