The importance of initiating a robust scheme of savings for retirement is a concern for many Australian women, however for those in the so-called Sandwich Generation the challenges can be much more difficult.
As women begin to live longer, the chances of having to look after parents and children simultaneously begin to rise – this is the challenge of the generation ‘sandwiched’ between them.
According to the Australian Bureau Of Statistics (ABS), in 2008 the average life expectancy for females was 85 years – males’ lifespans were found to be slightly lower, sitting at 80 years.
With your parents living happily into an older age bracket, it is highly likely that you will be providing financially for one or both of them as well as trying to help your children find their feet.
And because of the difference in men’s and women’s life expectancies you could also find yourself looking after an ageing husband to boot.
With this in mind, it is important to make sure that you will be equipped to support both family groups if needed, as well as protect the nest egg you have spent your working life building.
Speaking to a financial planner early on in your career is a good idea, however it is never too late to start thinking seriously about managing your cash flow.
Think about how much aid you want to be able to offer family members who might need it – and remember, a little tough love may not go astray when dealing with your kids and their perceived financial needs!
Your siblings may be able to share the costs of looking after older parents, making choices like whether to give up full-time work a little easier to make.
Your time is also an important commodity during the transition to retirement, so strategising your weekly tasks and sticking to the schedule can be a good way to manage your responsibilities.
Whatever your plans regarding the people you care for, don’t forget that your own post-work well-being and goals are also important.
Having a chat with a retirement specialist can help you to identify ways that can make balancing the role of carer, wife, mother and child less challenging.
ipac is one of Australia’s largest financial advisory firms and has offices based across the country. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the AMP Group, ipac specialises in research and financial advice that helps clients lead happier, more fulfilling lives.