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New research from LV= warns the UK’s Sandwich Generation is feeling strained when it comes to their financial responsibilities. It has found this group of around 2.4million(1) people – typically between 40 and 60 years old – lacks financial confidence and preparedness and, as this age group grows older, the issue is set to intensify.
Shouldering significant responsibility – caring for children as well as an older relative or friend – means this group is more likely to worry about the impact of a financial shock on their dependents. More than half (52%)(3) are worried about the consequences of a serious illness affecting themselves or their partner in the next 12 months (versus 35% national average). They are also nearly two times more likely to worry about the prospect of themselves or their partner dying and leaving the family without an income (30% compared to 17% national average)(3).
The research, which is part of LV=’s upcoming ‘Income Roulette’ report, also reveals the Sandwich Generation are unprepared for the longer-term future. Nearly two in five (37%) have less than £125 disposable income each month(3), with nearly half (46%)(3) citing their children as a constant source of unexpected expenses. More than half (54%)3 say they want to save but can’t afford to do so – which also means they struggle to top up their pension pots.
4 in 10 (39%)(3) of this group think financial advice is only relevant to those on a high income. The findings in this report clearly demonstrate the wide need for financial advice, and ensuring advice is accessible to everyone. Otherwise, those in their fifties may face delaying their retirement, as they still have long term financial commitments and high living costs. On average, this group has around £60,000 to retire on, while expecting their funds to last around 20 years, which would provide a monthly income of less than £260 (4).
It is clear this generation feel they are being pulled in many directions, with pressures to care for older relatives and ongoing responsibilities for their children. The Sandwich Generation have huge financial obligations and with the rising cost of living, are worrying more about what could be around the corner. Spreading their finances too thinly and dwelling on their worries, means the impact of having little or no plans in place, could expose them to a real income shock.
What this tells us is that there’s a huge latent demand for advice that spans protection and retirement planning. Whether that’s safeguarding their income during their working life or considering an investment strategy for their retirement that delivers both growth and security, as well as ways to supplement their income in retirement.
1 Estimate from CarersUK
2 Methodology for recognised benchmark of financial resilience: Money Advice Service (MAS) guidelines for financial resilience state that ‘people should hold an emergency fund of three months’ income’. LV= identified the ‘least financially resilient’ groups based on the combined factors of how respondents fared against the MAS definition and how confident respondents reported to feel about being able to manage a financial crisis.
3 Methodology for consumer survey: YouGov, on behalf of LV=, conducted online interviews with 8,529 UK adults between 20th and 26th June 2018. Data has been weighted to reflect a nationally representative audience.