The Pew Research Center in a new study says pressure on parents has grown, particularly in helping adult children hurt by a sluggish economy.
The center also notes that Baby Boomers are aging out of the Sandwich Generation on their way to being the cared for rather than the caring for.
The findings are part of “The Sandwich Generation: Rising Financial Burdens for Middle-Aged Americans.”
In 2005, according to Pew, the percentage of adults age 40 to 59 who provided financial support to a parent 65 or older and a child of any age was 12 percent. In 2012, the percentage had risen to 15.
“While the share of middle-aged adults living in the so-called sandwich generation has increased only marginally in recent years, the financial burdens associated with caring for multiple generations of family members are mounting,” said Pew.
More and more, parents are helping support their grown children.
Pew cites the “Great Recession and sluggish recovery have taken a disproportionate toll on young adults.”
It said: “In 2010, the share of young adults who were employed was the lowest it had been since the government started collecting these data in 1948. Moreover, from 2007 to 2011 those young adults who were employed full time experienced a greater drop in average weekly earnings than any other age group.”
Pew said 73 percent of that 40 to 59 year old bloc have provided at least some financial help in the past year to at least one such child.
By contrast, according to Pew, 21 percent have provided financial support to a parent age 65 or older in the past year, basically unchanged from 2005.
A notable trend cited by the research is that Baby Boomers are aging out of the Sandwich Generation. Increasingly, they will be cared for by their children.
Said Pew: “Since 2005, many Baby Boomers have aged out of the sandwich generation, and today adults who are part of Generation X are more likely than Baby Boomers to find themselves in this situation: 42 percent of Gen Xers have parent age 65 or older and a dependent child, compared with 33 percent of Boomers.”