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If your day involves waving kids off to school, a trip to the pharmacy for one of your parents and as many work hours as you can squeeze in before dinner (at home or otherwise), consider yourself officially part of the “sandwich generation”.
It’s a term that was coined to describe baby boomers who were simultaneously looking after aging parents and children, but it seems the baton has now been passed. And it’s having a big impact on the lifestyles of 40-somethings and our ability to put money away for the future.
Gen Xers are having children later and our parents will live longer (on average) than the previous generation. So it’s not uncommon to be in your 40s, with primary school aged kids and a parent in their 70s who may have declining health. It all adds up to a fair amount of stress.
In Australia only one in ten retirees live in a retirement village or assisted living accommodation. The rest are living at home, with help from their kids. Multigenerational households are booming too, now making up one-fifth of Australian families.1
Despite what TV sitcoms would suggest, providing this kind of support inevitability puts pressure on relationships and often leads to someone reducing their work hours. Which means less income for today, but also less going into super for your future. It’s one of the reasons women have significantly less super than men on average.2
The last thing you want is to become a financial burden on your kids, so don’t forget about your own finances. Talk to a financial adviser and make sure you have solid plans in place for your own future.
Contact QInvest to talk to an adviser.
1. ABS Social Trends 2014 as quoted by McCrindle Research (http://www.smh.com.au/national/the-sandwich-generation-20120727-22zj2.html)
2. ASIC's Money Smart website, www.moneysmart.gov.au/life-events-and-you/women/superannuation-and-women
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