With an ageing population and increasingly more children living at home for longer, more and more people are joining the 'Sandwich Generation', having to fund family at both ends of the spectrum, such as their parents and children as well as themselves.
Pressure to keep earning
It is estimated that over a million Britons are now members of the Sandwich Generation and the pressure is on them to keep earning, in order to fund the care and lifestyles of loved ones. The main areas of financial support the Sandwich Generation find themselves paying for includes: food and household bills (54%), paying off debts (54%), home renovations (23%), medical care (32%) and education fees (11%).
What's more, parents providing financial support to children are having to do so for longer. The research revealed that parents are now spending more on adult children (those aged 22+) than younger children as higher living costs and stagnated wages take hold. More than one in ten (14%) Britons are financially relied upon by their adult children, spending on average £6,411 a year on them compared to the £3,841 a year being spent on younger children.
Double caring responsibility
Unsurprisingly, few find this support easy, with close to half (45%) saying the financial pressure is challenging, while one in four (25%) have had to take out a loan to subsidise family members and 8% have had to increase their working hours or take on a second job (5%). And it's not just the cost of support that's having an impact, but time too. The Sandwich Generation are being hit with a 'double caring' responsibility, as they are looking after their children as well as parents and older family members too.
Indeed, nearly half (44%) of people in the Sandwich Generation have to balance working full-time with spending an additional 19 hours each week caring for a parent or older relative and twice as many hours (39 hours per week) looking after a younger relative.
The research shows how the changing nature of modern families is placing real financial pressure on those who are having to provide support to more than one generation. This help often lasts for many years longer than people may have originally thought. ν
Based on online research conducted by ICM for LV= using a sample of 2,003 UK adults in September 2014. Results have been weighted to a nationally representative criteria.
According to ICM data 3% of GB adults are financially relied upon by younger and older generations (i.e. they have an ongoing or regular responsibility to both generations). This equates to 1.4m people (47,358,000 GB adults x 0.03 = 1,420,740)