One-in-four “Sandwich Generation” Canadians expect to put their own financial goals on hold as a result of providing financial assistance to both their children and their parents, research shows.

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The Sandwich Generation Survey, a Leger poll of Canadians commissioned jointly by FP Canada™ and Chartwell Retirement Residences, demonstrates the financial squeeze facing Canadians who are providing support to both their adult children and their aging parents. The survey also reveals that a majority of Canadians do not have a financial plan to help them navigate these challenges.

“Given the significant financial pressures facing consumers from all directions, it’s no surprise that research shows Canadians are stressed about their finances. However, it is alarming to think that few Canadians have developed a financial plan to help them take control of their finances,” says Kelley Keehn, author, personal finance educator and Consumer Advocate for FP Canada. “By working with a CFP® professional, you can develop a plan that takes into account your entire financial picture and all of your priorities—including support for your loved ones—to help you Live Life Confidently™.”

Of the Canadians surveyed who have children and at least one living parent, one-in-three (30%) said they expect that they will need to provide financial assistance to both their children and parent(s) in the future. Females (35%) are more likely than males (22%) to say they will need to provide financial assistance to both their children and parent(s), and regionally, Ontarians (39%) and Albertans (37%) are most likely to say they will need to provide this dual support.

Even though Canadians are worried about the future, many tend to avoid having important financial conversations with their family members
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Sandwich generation Canadians are expecting this support to take a toll on their financial well-being. One-in-four (25%) said providing financial support to both their children and parent(s) is likely to cause a strain on them financially, and 27% said they expect to put their own financial needs/goals on hold as a result of providing this financial assistance. Among those under the age of 55, an even higher proportion—33%—expect to make these kinds of financial sacrifices.

“Even though Canadians are worried about the future, many tend to avoid having important financial conversations with their family members,” says Sharon Henderson, Vice President of Marketing and Communications with Chartwell Retirement Residences. “By encouraging them to plan ahead, financial planners can help bring peace of mind to clients and their families including the evaluation of living in a retirement residence.” 

Of the respondents in the sandwich generation, only one-in-four (27%) said they have a financial plan that is helping them deal with financial pressures associated with supporting their children and/or parent(s).

Less than half of Canadians (47%) are familiar with any of the tax credits and financial assistance programs that are available to help them support their adult children and aging parents, including those related to post-secondary costs and home renovations to accommodate seniors.


The full results of the survey can be found here.

About the Survey

Leger conducted a survey of 1,557 Canadians between April 26-29, 2019 using its online panel. The margin of error for this study was +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.


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To learn more about the financial challenges facing Sandwich Generation Canadians, read Aging Parents And Financial Support and The Sandwich Generation — Are You Caught In The Middle?