Added responsibility makes financial difference for Sandwich Generation

Family assistance has helped some buy a home, but for others, caretaking has hindered homeownership

Being part of the so-called “Sandwich Generation” has its ups and downs, and for many members of the cohort, the added financial assistance or burden has made the difference when it comes to homeownership, according to a new study from

Roughly one out of every six Americans is part of the aptly named demographic group — that is, they are taking care of their children and parents or grandparents at the same time. It’s a “generation” that’s split across ages ranges; 36% of the Sandwich Generation is made up of millennials, 30% by Gen Z, 17% by baby boomers and 16% by Generation X.

It’s their heightened caretaking responsibilities that bind them together, and it’s made a big difference: Almost half (47%) report that caring for their families has made an impact on housing-related finances. Thirty-eight percent said that taking care of both their children and older family members has affected their finances negatively. Thirty percent of those in the Sandwich Generation say they’ve been prevented from buying a home by their circumstances, while another 30% say it has prevented them from paying off their mortgage.

But it’s not all bad. Thirty-three percent — about a third — of the Sandwich Generation says that it has helped them afford to buy a home. Eighteen percent of the cohort, in fact, said that they “strongly agree” that it has made a positive impact on homeownership affordability.

“Unfortunately for home shoppers, affordability is still a big challenge in the current housing market, but for the Sandwich Generation, family support is providing a helping hand when it comes to finances,” said Laura Eddy, vice president of research and insight at “Over half of adults within the Sandwich Generation who receive financial support from family members report that this support is helping them to afford a home, while a little less than half (47%) said the support helped them save for retirement.”

Many in the Sandwich Generation are also staying in a family home, which can be beneficial through the passing down of property.

“It’s not uncommon for people to find themselves taking responsibility for the home of an aging or deceased family member and ultimately inheriting the home after they pass,” said Kendall Bonner, owner of EXP Realty in Florida. “With today’s increased home equity and the state of current lending rates, it can be an extremely helpful way to get into the housing market, especially if they are not currently a homeowner. Real estate continues to be the most consistent method for building generational wealth.”


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