Younger Boomers Stuck in the Middle

By Andrew Rickard | November 13 2015 10:10AM

They rank retirement as a high priority, but many younger baby boomers are too busy looking after their kids or their parents to plan for it.

Research conducted by BMO Harris Premier Services reveals that 47% of people in the United States between the ages of 45 and 65 are looking after their children or aging relatives (be they parents, in-laws, or grandparents). What's more, 10% of these people are looking after both generations while 17% expect they will have to at some point in the future.

With all the demands placed on this so-called "Sandwich Generation", many have not been able to give their retirement plans the attention they require. Although 92% of those surveyed ranked retirement as a top priority, 30% admit they have not thought about what their retirement will look like and 43% do not know when they will retire.

The study also found that Americans in this age group only have $291,297 of savings compared to the $938,529 they expect they will need. People who were closest to retirement, specifically people aged 55 to 65, said they are only 43% of the way towards reaching their retirement goal, and just 16% of all survey respondents said they were "very confident" that they would be able to afford their ideal retirement lifestyle.

"As a result of longer life expectancies and the trend we're seeing among couples of having children later in life, it's possible many may find themselves in the unique position of caring for two generations at once," says Mike Miroballi, president of BMO Harris Financial Advisors. "For those currently in the Sandwich Generation, caring for children and aging relatives can take a toll emotionally and financially and it's not uncommon for them to prioritize the needs of others above their own."