It’s estimated that up to 17 million people1 are finding themselves part of what’s come to be known as the ‘sandwich generation’ – those who are looking after the needs of children and ageing parents.

There’s increasing evidence that people in this situation can find it difficult to put in place the right plans for their own financial well-being while taking care of others. Increased life expectancy, coupled with starting families later in life, means that more of us than ever are facing heavy demands on our time and energy, and there could be implications for our finances too.

Plan for your future as well as theirs

In your middle years, the chances are that looking after your growing family means that the important things like day-to-day living costs, family holidays and possibly school fees, will all be taking a sizeable bite out of your disposable income. At this stage, you may find yourself needing to take more financial care of your ageing parents.

With family members young and old depending on your support, it’s vital to have in place the right sort of protection policies so that if one of life’s painful and unexpected events were to occur, there would be a payout from a policy to help ease the financial burden.

Retirement is on the horizon Although retirement could be anything from five to 15 years away at this point, these are likely to be your peak earning years, so it’s important to make sure you are on top of your money.

You’ll need to have a retirement plan in place, even if it seems light years away right now; it will come around quicker than you think, so keep an eye on your pension. It’s critical to know how much it’s likely to be worth, so that you can make plans to save more if you need to.

This is also the time to focus on your savings and investments. Ensuring you review your portfolio regularly will mean your investment strategy remains in line with your goals, and takes account of your attitude to risk, which may change over the years.

There’s a lot to think about, and taking financial advice at this stage of your life can make the difference between just about managing in your later years, or enjoying a financially-secure retirement.

  • Aviva, 2017