The Sandwich Generation

Posted on November 18, 2015




The following is a guest post from BMO Harris Premier Services. BMO Harris Financial Advisors, Inc. offers a comprehensive range of investment advisory products that include financial planning strategies and estate planning strategies, insurance and brokerage products and services, to meet the financial needs of mass affluent clients. Offices are located throughout the U.S. Learn more at


A study issued this month by BMO Harris Premier Services found 47 percent of Americans aged 45 to 65 are juggling the demands of caring for their children or aging relatives (i.e. parents, in-laws, grandparents, etc.). Ten percent currently care for both generations while 17 percent expect that they will have to care for the two generations at some point in the future.

According to the study, a quarter (26 percent) are concerned that caring for two generations will affect their ability to meet key financial goals (i.e. saving for retirement, paying down their mortgage, paying for their children’s education, etc.).

“As a result of longer life expectancies and the trend we’re seeing among couples of having children later in life, it’s possible many may find themselves in the unique position of caring for two generations at once,” said Mike Miroballi, President, BMO Harris Financial Advisors. “For those currently in the Sandwich Generation, caring for children and aging relatives can take a toll emotionally and financially and it’s not uncommon for them to prioritize the needs of others above their own.”

Mr. Miroballi added, “We also know that individuals who fall into the Sandwich Generation are not only often financially stretched but also extremely busy and time comes at a premium. These individuals can benefit from BMO Harris Premier Services, which provides a coordinated, comprehensive view of their financial picture.”

The study also explored the retirement readiness of those in the Sandwich Generation and found the average age they plan to retire is 66. It also revealed that despite most (92 percent) viewing retirement as a top priority, 30 percent have not thought about what their retirement will look like and 43 percent still do not know when they will retire.

On the topic of retirement savings, the study found:

  • Americans aged 45 to 65 have saved an average of only $291,297 versus the $938,529 they expect to need.
  • Those in the Sandwich Generation who are closer to retirement age (aged 55 to 65) are still less than halfway (43 percent) towards their savings goal.
  • Just 16 percent are ‘very confident’ in their ability to afford their ideal retirement lifestyle.

“This demographic has already accomplished many things, from getting an education and building a career to buying a home. However, with their retirement savings they still have some ground to make up,” said Stuart Thompson, Head, Premier Banking Strategy & Segment Management, BMO Harris Bank. “Regardless of age, it’s never too late to seek the assistance of a financial professional who can help you to develop a strategy that includes a retirement savings component.”

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