Singapore—A study conducted by NTUC Income has revealed some of the deepest fears of young Singaporeans—at least when it comes to financial adequacy. Eighty percent of the respondents said that they believe they’ll become the next Sandwich Generation, caught between having to care for their ageing parents and their young children at the same time.
The study from July of this year involved 200 parents aged 35-55 years old and 200 young Singaporeans aged 21-29 years old.
Among the respondents who are parents, 94 percent already said that they are taking care of their children and parents simultaneously, and many have said they are afraid their own children and grandchildren will face the same “Sandwich Generation” phenomenon.
Eighty percent of the young Singaporeans aid they believe they will be part of this phenomenon and believe that they will need to take more financial responsibility of their parents, that their parents do not have enough savings for their retirement years.
On a positive note, over half felt that they could break free from the Sandwich Generation, and many have already discussed financial preparedness and retirement adequacy with their parents.
However, some of the respondents have also said that they would consider having fewer children, or none at all, to avoid getting into the Sandwich Generation trap.
According to NTUC Income’s Marcus Chew, “The survey findings present parents with some stark realities that our children’s generation could face and the drastic sacrifices they are willing to make to ensure their ageing parents are taken care of should they be financially unprepared for retirement. While this highlights the filial piety that is ingrained in our society, it should also make us realise the impact that our current financial and investment habits have on our future generations – that our retirement planning is not just for ourselves, but it also matters to our children and the generations to come. It is clear from the research findings that if today we take appropriate actions to safeguard our retirement adequacy financially, our children can have the confidence of breaking free from the Sandwich Generation trap.”
Assistant Professor Tan Poh Lin from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore said in response to the data from the study said “The study and findings provide an opportunity for us to take stock as it involves a segment of society whom are always considered stuck in between the poor and the wealthy.
“The survey results by Income also provides an opportunity for the general public to have a better understanding of what can be done to put an end, if at all, to the Sandwich Generation phenomenon.
“There were already studies done. One recently by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy provided an indication of how much seniors may need in a month for sustenance, and another suggested that the stress of being sandwiched tends to fall primarily on married women in Asia. Perhaps this is a good starting point to help middle-income families have conversations together so that they can be better prepared.”/ TISG
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