The Sandwich Generation

A new generational label is beginning to emerge and members are continually battling challenges that their parents didn’t see coming. The Sandwich Generation, ages 40 to 59, is increasingly discovering financial planning challenges in the unique position they lie in between their adult children and aging parents. Pew Social Trends states that 31% of adults provide primary support to one or more of their gown children while one in ten adults provide primary care for their parents who are 65 years of age and older. Other adults still have growing children who rely on them financially and about 66% foresee taking care of their parents in the future. The Sandwich Generation is being pulled in many directions and many aren’t doing the necessary planning to be prepared.

One in seven middle-aged adults is providing financial support to both an aging parents and their children, says Kim Park and Eileen Patten of Pew Social Trends. These middle aged adults, also known as the Baby Boomer generation and Generation X, increasingly believe they have responsibility to provide financial support for ongoing expenses, health care related bills, or special circumstances. And for those adults with parents who continue to age, they are increasingly finding they need more help financially as well as emotionally. Of those whose parents need care, 31% say they provide most of the help, 39% say someone else in the family does it and 14% say most of the care is managed by paid help or assisted living facilities (Parker, K. and Patten, E. (2013, January 30). The Sandwich Generation; Rising Financial Burdens for Middle-Aged Americans. Retrieved from Regardless of where the care comes from, studies show that finances to provide the care are increasingly coming from the Sandwich Generation.

Planning for a financial future for young and grown children, aging parents as well as security for themselves is a struggle the Sandwich Generation is just beginning to recognize. Now, more than ever, estate planning and medicaid planning can play an important role in the financial stability of both young adults, middle aged adults and their parents. For a more in depth look at the social and demographic trends sited in this article, please visit:

Sandwich Generation Report