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Boomers squeezed by care obligations

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The “Sandwich Generation” is not the name of a restaurant or deli — though perhaps it should be. It is the term coined to describe baby boomers in the unenviable position of caring for their own children and for their parents, often at substantial cost. Many of them are struggling to make ends meet, according to new research from The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

The Hartford Study found that many people age 45 and older have serious concerns about dealing with intergenerational financial responsibilities. In the United States, 44 percent of those surveyed indicated it was a worry. The number jumps to 74 percent in Japan. For those already dealing with the reality of being in the Sandwich Generation — 28 percent of U.S. respondents — they are coping by making lifestyle changes, putting off retirement savings and delaying major purchases.

U.S. boomers caring for children and parents put off saving for retirement and other financial goals at a rate of 28 percent, putting themselves in danger of falling short in their later years. They also are cutting back on dining out and other entertainment, postponing vacations, and reducing other purchases, 47 percent.

“Competing financial responsibilities make it more difficult for many members of the Sandwich Generation to save and accumulate assets for retirement,” says Lizabeth Zlatkus, president and co-COO of Hartford Life Inc. “Because they have a tighter margin of error, [they] not only need to make the most of every retirement dollar invested, they need to protect and preserve their hard-earned savings.”

For more on the survey, visit


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