A new poll suggests more than half of Canadians aged between 45 to 64 belong to a “sandwich generation” that’s feeling financially squeezed by the needs of their children, aging parents — or both.
The survey conducted for BMO Nesbitt Burns found that 55% of those recently polled in this age group say they’re currently looking after children, parents, in-laws or other relatives.
Stuck in the Middle: BMO Nesbitt Burns Study Finds Sandwich Generation Short $560,000 for Retirement
“There’s a sense among those in the sandwich generation that they’re getting squeezed and are being forced to balance a plethora of financial priorities, from paying down their mortgage to saving for their child’s education to saving for retirement,” Sylvain Brisebois, regional manager at BMO Nesbitt Burns, said in a statement.
“The stress that comes with caring for children and aging relatives, balancing a career and generally keeping up with daily tasks can make it hard to focus on the future and saving for retirement.”
Average Household Debt By Province
Average household debt, 2014, according to BMO.
Previous year: $56,860
Change, 2013 to 2014: up 5.2%
Atlantic Canada: $64,120
Previous year: $47,237
Change, 2013 to 2014: up 35.4%
Previous year: $76,970
Change, 2013 to 2014: down 12.3%
Previous year: $82,100
Change, 2013 to 2014: down 16.6%
National average: $76,140
Previous year: $72,045
Change, 2013 to 2014: up 5.7%
British Columbia: $99,834
Previous year: $79,089
Change, 2013 to 2014: up 26.2%
Previous year: $89,026
Change, 2013 to 2014: up 40.2%
Here are six tips for surviving the “sandwich generation” years:
1. Be proactive.
2. Choose retirement over college savings.
3. Don’t hide your personal responsibilities from your employer.
4. If children return home, make them contribute.
5. Maintain an emergency fund.
6. Involve your siblings.