New York Life | November 24, 2021
It’s understandable to feel less confident about your financial future given the uncertain times we live in today, especially with the current economic climate and continued concerns about COVID-19. For those navigating the current environment in addition to caregiving responsibilities for children and aging relatives, it can be overwhelming to think about your financial roadmap and understand where to get started. But – what if there was something people could do to prepare themselves financially and feel more confident about their future?
Caregiving and COVID-19: How the pandemic is expanding the sandwich generation presents new research findings that explore how confident members of the Sandwich Generation are about their financial future and ability to continue providing care for their loved ones. The data provides insights into the Sandwich Generation’s long-term expectations and ways to prepare for the future, which can be a useful resource for those in the present-day Sandwich Generation as well as those who may be part of this demographic in the future.
For most of the Sandwich Generation, the outlook for how long they expect to be part of this demographic is measured in years – not months – and caring for loved ones and dependents can be expensive and time consuming. This can make a significant dent in short and long-term personal finances, with the costs adding up to potentially hefty sums.
Nearly half (48 percent) of all members of the Sandwich Generation expect to be in a caretaking position in some capacity for at least the next six years, according to the research compiled by New York Life. However, many would not be able to provide care for that length of time without adjusting their financial strategy, with nearly more than one-in-five (22 percent) reporting they would need to make an adjustment within the next 12 months.
With only 28 percent reporting they would able to afford caretaking for the next six or more years, it’s evident many in this group may only be prepared for the near-term and unable to support what can be a lengthy labor of love.
Part of this lack of confidence may have to do with the significant financial costs that come with being a caretaker in the Sandwich Generation. The cost of caring for an aging relative during the pandemic is about $1,000 per month on average. Notably, this average monthly cost is higher now with more than half (54 percent) reporting they spend $200 more each month caring for others than they did before the pandemic – an increase from what most members of this group reported.
It’s not too late to take steps to protect your future and ensure you’re in the best position to care for your loved ones, while also safeguarding your own financial future. The additional costs associated with caring for dependents can naturally put retirement and protection-first financial solutions on the backburner. However, it’s important to realize that without a strategy in place, it can be far more difficult to improve financial well-being looking over the long-term.
Case in point: many within the Sandwich Generation are having to pull from their own savings, reduce retirement contributions or spend more time at work in order to pay for the increased expenses.
New York Life’s research found that those working with a financial professional are seeing improvements to their financial well-being – making them less likely to make financial decisions they regret and more likely to feel prepared to be a caregiver for a longer period of time.
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