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Money Issues — The Sandwich Generation

February 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Special Features


It is not about what you’re taking to work everyday in your lunchbox. If you haven’t already heard the term Sandwich Generation, and you fall into the baby-boomer category, then it may be time to tuck a napkin in your shirt and digest some need-to-know information. While every media outlet is reminding you about economic hardships, you’re unfortunately part of a group of people that needs to take extra financial precautions – but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Members of this deli-described cohort now face a unique set of circumstances. The Sandwich Generation effectively depicts boomers entering into retirement, while parenting their children and caring for their aging parents simultaneously. And without the right preparation, this could be a stressful time for everyone living under the same roof. “For most people, it will be a juggling act,” says Amy D’Aprix, life transition consultant at BMO Financial Group. “It will take planning on three levels – finance, services, support and family issues.” Options include speaking to an investment professional, consulting the Community Care Access Centre, and visiting Ontario’s website for senior issues. The good news according to D’Aprix is that boomers who plan properly can avoid the anxiety of being ill-equipped.

According to a recent Bank of Montreal study, one third of boomers between 45 and 60 are already caring for their parents. An identical chunk of the pie foresees the same in the near future, while financially supporting children. The key is about staying calm and taking necessary steps. “For example, if you have adult siblings, you can have conversations ahead of time,” says D’Aprix. “That tends to prevent people from ending up in a default care-giver role.” Of course, every layer affects the overall sandwich, so everyone should have a say. “The seniors should be involved, too. They may want to move closer to a daughter or move into a retirement community,” says D’Aprix. Whatever the case, boomers will eventually be in the same boat and that means staying ahead of the game. By figuring out the type of lifestyle you want to live, planning for the future becomes easier for everyone – and that’s something worth biting into.


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