No Romance for the Sandwich Generation

Survey by Credit Canada and Capital One Canada for Credit Education Week finds more money can mean more embarrassment

TORONTO, Nov. 15, 2011 /CNW/ - The stress of financially supporting both a child and aging parents is not only impacting peoples' wallets, but also the romance for a majority of Canadians in the Sandwich Generation.  More than 70% of Canadians in a relationship and with a family income of less than $50,000, who also help support an aging parent, indicate that the romance in their relationship is suffering.

The survey conducted by Credit Canada and Capital One Canada for the fifth annual Credit Education Week also found that, 4 in 10 Canadians in the Sandwich Generation are concerned that they will have to financially support their aging parents in the future, yet the vast majority (82%) in this growing group are not yet prepared or don't know if they ever will be prepared to do so.

Compounding this lack of preparation, the majority of Canadians (54%) in the Sandwich Generation have not talked with their aging parents about their ability to support themselves in the future.  Being uncomfortable or embarrassed was the main reason cited by almost 40% of these people.  The survey also found that surprisingly the more money people make, the more embarrassed they become.

"We know some families are scared to bring up the subject because they're concerned they won't be able to provide financial support if it's needed, but this will just delay the inevitable," said Laurie Campbell, Executive Director, Credit Canada.  "If you start saving early, and you work with an expert like a financial advisor or credit counselor, you have a better chance at finding the right solutions."

The survey also found:

  • Of those Canadians in the Sandwich Generation who are already financially supporting their aging parents, almost half (48%) were not financially prepared to do so
  • A staggering 70% of Canadians in Sandwich Generation aged 40-50 are concerned that they will not be able to properly support their aging parents if or when the need arises
  • A third of Canadians in this group provide more than $500/month
  • Two-thirds of the Sandwich Generation are going more into debt to support both their children and an aging parent

"We want to encourage families to talk to each other about their finances so they have a clear view of their parents' savings plan, and so they have transparency into any outstanding money they might owe," said Rob Livingston, President, Capital One Canada.  "Communication is key to ensuring everyone has a clear picture of what those financial obligations might be, and what they need to do to meet those obligations."

In 2007, Credit Canada and Capital One Canada teamed up to create the first Credit Education Week Canada, with the objective to raise public awareness and educate Canadians about the many issues and challenges they face managing their finances, spending and savings.  Now in its fifth year, Credit Education Week will be looking at the Sandwich Generation and the unique financial pressures they face. From November 14-18, over one hundred events and financial literacy workshops at YMCAs and community centres right across the country will occur under the Credit Education Week banner thanks to the support and funding of all sponsors.

Credit Canada and Capital One Canada provide the following tips for the Sandwich Generation:

  • Talk to each other - Set aside some time to talk to your parents about their financial situation.  Don't be shy!

  • Make your kids part of the conversation - Give them a chance to participate in the discussion. They'll learn the importance of budgeting and saving early on

  • Ask an expert - Consider approaching an expert to help you speak to your family about their finances

About the survey

In September 2011, Credit Canada and Capital One Canada commissioned a survey of 830 Canadians in the Sandwich Generation to gain insight into their financial challenges and situations. The survey respondents were equally distributed across the 4 major regions of Canada (West, Ontario, Quebec and East) and the margin of error is +/- 3.4%, 19 times out of 20.

About Credit Canada Credit Canada is a non-profit charitable service that has assisted thousands of people with credit counseling and debt management programs since 1966. Credit Canada is a member of the Ontario Association of Credit Counseling Services and a Charter Member of Canadian Association of Credit Counseling Services.

About Capital One With offices in Toronto and Montreal, Capital One has offered Canadian consumers a range of competitive MasterCard credit cards since 1996, when the company first introduced the Platinum MasterCard in Canada. Capital One Canada is a division of Capital One Bank, a subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corporation of McLean, Virginia (NYSE: COF). Capital One supports the responsible use of credit by integrating financial education into its products, and providing Canadians with the interactive website

SOURCE Capital One Services, Inc.

For further information:


Laurie Campbell, Credit Canada

Laurel Ostfield, Capital One


Profil de l'entreprise

Capital One Services, Inc.

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