Those caring for children and older relatives are under financial strain, research finds

It is estimated that there are 2.4 million people in the UK – known as the sandwich generation – caring for their children as well as their elderly relatives at the same time in life.

According to new research from LV=, this section of society – typically aged 40 and 60 years – widely lacks financial confidence and many are unprepared for a potential shock to their income.

More than half (52%) are concern about the financial impact a serious illness would have on either themselves or their partner (compared to the national average of 35%), while they are also nearly twice as likely to worry about the prospect of themselves or their partner dying and leaving their family without an income (30% compared to 17% national average), the survey of 8,529 UK adults found.

Long-term savings

Part of LV=’s upcoming Income Roulette report, the research also revealed that nearly two in five (37%) of this demographic have less than £125 disposable income each month, with nearly half (46%) citing their children as the most common cause of unexpected expenditure. More than half (54%) say they want to save but cannot do so.

The report also showed that four in 10 (39%) of those considered sandwich generation think financial advice is only relevant to those on a high income, while those in their 50s are likely to struggle into retirement – on average, they have around £60,000 to retire on, which would amount to an income of £260 a month for 20 years.

Safeguarding income

“It is clear this generation feel they are being pulled in many directions, with pressures to care for older relatives and ongoing responsibilities for their children,” said Justin Harper, head of marketing at LV=. “The sandwich generation have huge financial obligations and with the rising cost of living, are worrying more about what could be around the corner. Spreading their finances too thinly and dwelling on their worries, means the impact of having little or no plans in place, could expose them to a real income shock.

“What this tells us is that there’s a huge latent demand for advice that spans protection and retirement planning,” continued Harper. “Whether that’s safeguarding their income during their working life or considering an investment strategy for their retirement that delivers both growth and security, as well as ways to supplement their income in retirement.”

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