A study issued today by BMO Harris Premier Services found 43 percent of Arizonans aged 45 to 65 are juggling the demands of caring for their children or aging relatives (i.e. parents, in-laws, grandparents, etc.). Seven percent currently care for both generations while 16 percent expect that they will have to care for the two generations at some point in the future.

According to the study, 20 percent are concerned that caring for two generations will affect their ability to meet key financial goals (i.e. saving for retirement, paying down their mortgage, paying for their children’s education, etc.).

This demographic (aged 45 to 65) is known as the “Sandwich Generation” because they are more likely to be ‘sandwiched’ between the demands of caring for both their children and older relatives.

“With longer life expectancies and the trend among people of having children at a later age, many Arizonans may find themselves in the situation of having to care for two generations at once,” said Kent Seacat, regional manager, Financial Advisory Services, BMO Harris Financial Advisors. “This can take a toll emotionally and financially and it’s easy for individuals in the Sandwich Generation to begin viewing their own needs as a lower priority.”

Seacat added, “Those in this demographic have a lot on their plate and have limited free time. These individuals would find BMO Harris Premier Services helpful in providing them with a coordinated, complete view of their finances.” 

The BMO Harris Premier Services program provides BMO Harris clients with a personalized service to help them manage their finances and achieve their financial goals. Clients work with a BMO Harris Premier Banker and a BMO Harris Financial Advisor who can provide a complete, 360-degree view of their financial picture. The two dedicated financial professionals offer an integrated set of services that includes personal and business banking from BMO Harris Bank, as well as financial planning, investments*, and insurance offered by BMO Harris Financial Advisors, Inc.

Sandwiched and Struggling to Save for Retirement

The study also explored the retirement readiness of Arizonans in the Sandwich Generation and found the average age they plan to retire is 66. It also revealed that despite the fact that most (91 percent) view retirement as a top priority, one third still do not know when they will retire and 26 percent have not thought about what their retirement will look like.

On the topic of retirement savings, the study found:

• Arizonans aged 45 to 65 have saved an average of only $399,093 versus the $800,077 they expect to need.

• Those who are closer to retirement age (aged 55 to 65) are still less than halfway (42 percent) towards their savings goal.

• Just 10 percent are ‘very confident’ in their ability to afford their ideal retirement lifestyle.

“Although many Arizonans in this demographic have achieved significant financial milestones – such as going to college and buying a home – they do have some ground to make up when it comes to their retirement savings,” said Sue Hasenstein, regional sales manager, BMO Harris Premier Services, BMO Harris Bank. “It’s never too late to get help from a financial professional to develop a comprehensive financial strategy with a retirement savings component.”


Key National Findings:

• Almost half (47 percent) of Americans aged 45 to 65 care for their children or aging relatives. Ten percent currently care for both generations and 17 percent expect to in the future.

• A quarter are concerned financially supporting two generations will impact their key financial goals.

• The average age the sandwich generation plans to retire at is 66.

• Despite most (92 percent) viewing retirement as a top priority, 30 percent are without a retirement plan and 43 percent still do not know when they will retire.

• Americans aged 45 to 65 have only saved $291,297 for retirement versus the amount of $938,529 they expect to need.

• Just 16 percent are ‘very confident’ in their ability to afford their ideal retirement lifestyle.