Meet SA’s ‘sandwich generation’

2010-12-01 07:34

More than 20% of South Africans fall into the “sandwich generation”, where they support both their children and their parents, according to Old Mutual.

This figure is much higher than in First World economies such as the USA/Canada, where 14% carry this burden. In the UK, the figure stands at 10%, while in Japan it is 6%.

“The sandwich generation is the generation of people squeezed between their own children and their ageing parents, and supporting both of them,” Old Mutual said in a statement on the latest findings of its Savings Monitor.

In 1990, less than 33% of young adults, aged 18 to 24, lived with their parents.

Old Mutual said almost 70% South Africans aged 18 to 24 lived at home.

“The figure for those aged 25 to 34 is a staggering 45%.”

Parents are also living longer than they used to.

“At the start of the 20th century, one in 20 people in their 60s had a living parent. Today that figure is nearly 50%. The sandwich generation has the daunting task of balancing the needs of their children and parents, with their own need to work and earn enough money to support themselves now and after retirement.”

The Savings Monitor showed a small improvement in South African savings habits since the financial crisis, but the sandwich generation needed urgent help.

They especially needed to take a “generational view” in their financial planning, and avoid dipping into retirement savings, no matter how tempting.

The monitor is a semiannual survey of 1 000 South African households in the main metropolitan areas that examines their savings behaviour and attitudes.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Assistant Restaurant Manager

Western Cape
Hotel and Catering
R10 000 - R15 000 Per Month


Hotel and Catering Personnel
R15 000 - R19 000 Per Month


Western Cape
R10 000 - R13 500 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.