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'Sandwich generation' faces financial pressures by caring for young and old: BMO

TORONTO - 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 per cent of those recently polled in this age group say they're currently looking after children, parents, in-laws or other relatives.

About one-third of the 800 people who responded to the Pollara online poll said they are caring for a senior.

Thirty-nine per cent said they worry that the demands of a being a caregiver will have a negative impact on their financial goals, such as saving 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."

The study also found that those polled in this age group are behind with their savings plans. The average amount that those polled want to have save by retirement is $818,000; but the average amount that has actually been saved as of date is just $258,000. Only 40 per cent say they have a financial plan in place.

Pollara conducted the poll for BMO between July 29 and 31. The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error as they are not a random sample and therefore are not necessarily representative of the whole population.

The Canadian Press

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