Wednesday, December 14, 2016

New Research Shows How Credit Unions Can Better Support the Sandwich Generation

According to Pew Research Center, nearly half of U.S. adults aged 40–59 years have a parent aged 65 years or older and support either a younger child or a grown one. Squeezed from above and below, these Boomers and Gen X Americans are known as the sandwich generation. 

To explore this further, we commissioned a new study via the Filene Research Institute that published this week. It's called “Relieve the Squeeze: The Sandwich Generation.” Results suggest this generation may be at its financial tipping point. Here's why:

  • More than 70 percent of respondents said money was tight while only 28 percent reported they were living comfortably.
  • The majority of respondents were either just meeting their basic needs or meeting them with just a bit leftover, while 8 percent said they couldn’t even fully cover basic expenses.
  • Half of respondents said providing financial assistance to their parents and grown children made it difficult to pay their own household expenses.

The research provides insights to help credit unions understand this population and offers suggestions for the types of financial products and services to best support the sandwich generation.

Credit unions have an opportunity to alleviate some of the stress burdening their sandwich generation members. This includes introducing targeted products and services that can lessen the strain such as:

  • Flexible savings accounts
  • Specialized access to parents’ and adult children’s banking accounts
  • Facilitated communication between generations
  • Multigenerational financial planning
  • Solutions that address the rising costs of healthcare

To read member stories and learn more about the needs of the sandwich generation, download the full report.