"Sandwich Generation" Likely to Seek Financial Advice

New findings from MetLife’s 8th Annual Employee Benefits Trends Study show members of the working sandwich generation - those who are holding down a full-time job while raising children and caring for older relatives - are more likely to look for financial information and advice.

About one in five full-time employees is a caregiver of an older relative and nearly three-quarters of these employees also have children under the age of 18. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of members of the sandwich generation employees say they live paycheck to paycheck, compared to 42% of employees with minor children and without the responsibilities of older relatives as well.  

According to a press release, only 5% of sandwich generation respondents say they don’t consult with anyone about their personal finances, compared to 30% of non-caregiving employees with children. And sandwich generation employees are turning to multiple resources including financial advisers (45%, compared to 24% without elder caregiving responsibilities), friends and relatives (39% vs. 17%), insurance agents (39% vs. 7%), accountants (32% vs. 9%), human resources department (26% vs. 10%), and financial publications and Web sites (23% vs. 13%).  

Other survey findings included: 

  • Seven out of 10 working caregivers with minor children reported they are very concerned about their own long-term care needs in retirement, contrasted to four out of 10 non-caregiving employees with children; 
  • 37% of working men and women with minor children are very concerned about being able to afford to buy a home, but that percentage doubles to 74% for those who are also caregivers; 
  • 55% of workers with minor children are very concerned about affording college, but that percentage climbs to 72% for those who are also caregivers; 
  • While 45% of working parents are very concerned about having more time to spend with their families, that percentage jumps to 72% for those who are simultaneously balancing parental and elder caregiving responsibilities. 

The 8th Annual MetLife Study of Employee Benefits Trends was conducted during the fourth quarter of 2009 and fielded by GfK Custom Research North America. The employee sample comprised 1,305 interviews with full-time employees age 21 and over, at companies with a minimum of two employees.