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Aug 18, 2014

Sandwich generation short $560,000 for retirement: Survey

More than one-half caring for children, aging relatives, or both
    
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Canadians in the sandwich generation (those aged 45 to 64 who are “sandwiched” between the demands of caring both for their aging parents and for their own children), are more than half a million dollars short of their individual retirement savings goal, according to a BMO Nesbitt Burns study.

More than one-half (55 per cent) are caring for their children, aging relatives or both. Almost one-third currently care for a parent or older relative.

Thirty-nine per cent are concerned that being in the situation of caring for others will impact their ability to meet key financial goals, including saving for retirement, found the survey of 800 people between the ages of 45 and 64.

"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," said Sylvain Brisebois, regional manager at BMO Nesbitt Burns. "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."

Three-quarters (76 per cent) of this cohort feel that the stress of everyday living — such as working, taking care of family, paying household bills or helping older relatives — is impacting their ability to meet long-term financial goals.

And only 40 per cent of those in the sandwich generation have a financial plan in place.

Regional breakdown

Region

Average amount needed in order to have ideal retirement lifestyle

Average amount currently saved for retirement

Average gap between amount saved and amount needed to have ideal retirement lifestyle

% currently caring for children, aging relatives, or both

% who feel the stress of everyday living is impacting long-term financial goals

National

$818,000

$258,000

($560,000)

55

76

Atlantic

$839,000

$166,000

($673,000)

64

83

Quebec

$447,000

$180,000

($267,000)

47

64

Ontario

$876,000

$227,000

($649,000)

61

82

Prairies

$581,000

$247,000

($334,000)

51

77

Alberta

$970,000

$491,000

($479,000)

53

72

B.C.

$1,131,000

$317,000

($814,000)

56

77

    
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