The Sandwich Generation: short $560,000 for retirement


Caught between their parents' generation and their children's, Canadians in the sandwich generation would need $560,000 more to be able to enjoy their ideal retirement lifestyle. A survey conducted by BMO Nesbitt Burns has found that this part of the workforce faces a stressful situation and that there are disparities in terms of family responsibilities and financial goals across Canada.


The sandwich generation, made up of those aged 45 to 64, is known as being sandwiched between caring both for their children and their aging parents. The results of the study indicate that more than 50% of Canadians from this generation support parents, children or both. And nearly a third take care of a parent or an older relative. It is therefore difficult for them to balance their personal and professional lives. Moreover, 76% of them feel that the stress of everyday life (work, assisting elderly parents, caring for their family, paying bills, etc.) has a negative impact on their ability to reach the long-term financial goals that they have set.


Order of priorities to be reviewed



According to Sylvain Brisebois, regional manager at BMO Nesbitt Burns, those in the sandwich generation have the impression that they are being squeezed and feel forced to review a whole range of financial priorities (paying down their mortgage, retirement savings, saving for their children's education). The solution? Better stress management and developing a financial plan based on a set order of priorities in order to create a real household financial strategy. Only 40% of those in the sandwich generation have such a plan in place.



Amounts vary greatly from one province to another


The amount needed to provide the ideal retirement lifestyle comes to $818,000 on average for the whole country and swings from $447,000 in Quebec to $1,131,000 in British Columbia. Between the two, we get: $581,000 for the Prairie Provinces, $839,000 for the ones on the Atlantic, $876,000 for Ontario and $970,000 for Alberta.


The average difference between the amount already saved and the objective set by future pensioners ranges from $267,000 in Quebec to $814,000 in British Columbia. Figures amounted to $334,000 in the Prairie Provinces, $479,000 in Alberta, $673,000 in the Atlantic Provinces and $814,000 in British Columbia.


The percentage of people taking care of one or several relatives goes from 47% in Quebec to 64% in the Atlantic Provinces. It is 51% in the Prairie Provinces, 53% in Alberta, 56% in British Columbia and 61% in Ontario.


Finally, the percentage of people who feel that the stress of daily life affects their savings varies between 64% in Quebec and 83% in the Atlantic Provinces. For Alberta it is 72%, British Columbia and the Prairies 77%, and Ontario 82%.


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