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Sandwich generation bill hits one million Brits

Press release: 27/10/2014

  • Over a million [1] people are now simultaneously financially responsible for BOTH younger and older family members
  • On average Brits spend £1,367 per year supporting older relatives with a third (33%) having to help towards care costs
  • Adult children (aged 22+) cost parents more than younger children
  • On average parents spend £6,411 a year on adult children compared to £3,841 on younger children

With an ageing population and increasingly more children living at home for longer, more and more people are joining the ‘Sandwich Generation’, having to fund family at both ends of the spectrum, such as their parents and children as well as themselves.

According to research by protection specialist LV=, it is estimated that over a million Brits are now members of the Sandwich Generation and the pressure is on them to keep earning, in order to fund the care and lifestyles of loved ones. The main areas of financial support the Sandwich Generation find themselves paying for includes: food and household bills (54%), paying off debts (54%), home renovations (23%), medical care (32%) and education fees (11%).

What’s more, parents providing financial support to children are having to do so for longer. The research revealed that parents are now spending more on adult children (those aged 22+) than younger children as higher living costs and stagnated wages take hold. More than one in ten (14%) Brits are financially relied upon by their adult children, spending on average £6,411 a year on them compared to the £3,841 a year being spent on younger children.

Unsurprisingly, few find this support easy, with close to half (45%) saying the financial pressure is challenging, while one in four (25%) have had to take out a loan to subsidise family members and 8% have had to increase their working hours or take on a second job (5%).

And it’s not just the cost of support that’s having an impact, but time too. The Sandwich Generation are being hit with a ‘double caring’ responsibility, as they are looking after their children as well as parents and older family members too.

Indeed, nearly half (44%) of people in the Sandwich Generation have to balance working full-time with spending an additional 19 hours each week caring for a parent or older relative and twice as many hours (39 hours per week) looking after a younger relative.

Richard Rowney, LV= Life and Pensions Managing Director, said: “The research shows how the changing nature of modern families is placing real financial pressure on those who are having to provide support to more than one generation. This help often lasts for many years longer than people may have originally thought.

“Nobody wants to think about the possibility of getting ill or being made redundant however the reality is that some of us will be off work for a period of time at some point in our career. Having a contingency plan, such as income protection in place offers you peace of mind that if you fell ill or were made redundant you would receive a regular income which would enable you to carry on supporting yourself and your loved ones.”

For further details, log on to www.lv.com.

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For further information please contact:

Addy Frederick, addy.frederick@LV.com, 020 8256 6909 / 07500 171810

Paula Nugent, paula.nugent@LV.com 020 8256 9367 / 074 4250 5877

About LV=

LV= employs 5800 people and serves 5.5 million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK’s largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trade unions.

Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.

Notes to editors

Based on online research conducted by ICM using a sample of 2,003 UK adults in September 2014. Results have been weighted to a nationally representative criteria.

  1. According to ICM data 3% of GB adults are financially relied upon by younger and older generations (i.e. they have an ongoing or regular responsibility to both generations). This equates to 1.4m people (47,358,000 GB adults x 0.03 = 1,420,740)