It’s hard to meet basic living expenses when you’re on your own. But what about when you have someone else?
According to a new Wealth Watch study by New York Life, nearly half of the “sandwich generation” — those with children and elderly family members to care for — reported being unable to meet basic living expenses like food or medical care in the past year. to care costs.
90% of those surveyed say they have made a “lifestyle change or financial decision” because of the cost of care.
The study, Between August 31 and September 10, it surveyed 1,003 adults of the Sandwich Generation. How unprepared are the costs of maintenance. It also shows how they are adapting.
“People need to be careful about being financially healthy, managing your bills, and having enough emergency savings,” says Susan Schmidt, head of financial security at New York Life. “But you’re one pampering event away from defying your own finances.”
Read more: How much money should I keep in an emergency savings account?
The study also reported a demographic shift in people who made up the Sandwich Generation. Millennials, ages 27-42, are becoming caregivers. In the year In 2023, the study reports that 66% of self-reported caregivers will be Millennials and 23% will be Gen Xers. Meanwhile, in In 2020, only 39% of caregivers were millennials and 40% were Gen Xers between the ages of 43 – 58.
According to the study, men are also playing an active role in caregiving. For example, in 2023, 45% of self-reported caregivers will be women and 55% will be men. This is in stark contrast to 2020, where 64% of self-reported caregivers were female and 36% were male.
“Because of the epidemic, men are more willing to provide care and are more comfortable pulling in the task of caring for children as well as their older relatives,” Schmidt said.
Although more men are becoming caregivers, women still bear a significant financial and emotional burden of caregiving. The survey found that 72% of men said they could provide the same level of care to their loved ones for at least a year before adjusting their financial plans, compared to only 54% of women. And the report shows that 50% of women say caregiving has a negative impact on their mental health compared to 39% of men.
Women also spend more hours per week on caregiving than men, the study found.
“Women are historically underreported in care, because many women are simply seen as doing it,” Schmidt said. “Taking prescriptions, managing medications, grocery shopping, cooking.”
Meanwhile, the sandwich generation is generally struggling to make ends meet caring for children and the elderly. According to the survey, 40% “have made financial decisions they regret because of mental health care.” More than 50% say they have “sacrificed” financial security because of caregiving needs. Of those who made financial changes due to caregiving responsibilities, 34% reported cutting back on spending, 26% contributing to emergency savings, and 26% reporting taking on more debt.
Read more: Personal Loans With Credit Cards: What To Use For An Emergency?
On the other hand, the financial struggles of the Sandwich generation have made them far-sighted. For example, more than 3 in 4 agree that “the experience of caring for an aging relative has led them to buy or purchase financial protection products.” New York Life reports that 34% of survey respondents plan to pay more than their own budget to pay for future caregiving costs, 28% plan to work part-time at their jobs, and 27% plan to spend retirement savings on those they care for.
The sandwich generation is also saving money to take care of the children. According to the survey, 42% of them say they set aside an average of $43,136.67.
“We believe that the one silver lining in all of this is that young people start having those thoughts and conversations earlier in life and talking about it with spouses and partners,” Schmidt said. “To consider products and solutions to save a lot of runway and be proactive in planning before they finally find themselves in this care.”
Dylan Kroll is a Yahoo Finance reporter.
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