Sandwich Generation: Help your kids escape the same fate

NTUC Income just launched a viral marketing video that complements their recent study on the Sandwich Generation and how Singaporeans view their financial future.

I know it’s becoming viral because my friends who aren’t great at financial planning started posting the video in Facebook.

In case you’ve not watched it before, here’s the video.

Warning: Have your tissue box nearby before you click the ‘play’ button.


Who are these Sandwich Generation people?

Essentially, the Sandwich Generation is defined as parents who are tasked with supporting their own children, as well as their parents at the same time.

In Singapore, our Asian values means that we are often dependents of our parents when they are no longer working. Some continue working out of necessity because their kids aren’t able to support them.

Sandwich Generation are trapped and they can’t escape their fate

I’m not in the Sandwich Generation yet because I’m still single but I’m already supporting my mum’s retirement through monthly top-ups in her CPF Retirement Account and allowances.

Due to our family circumstances, I’m also the owner of the 3-room HDB flat that we are staying in and paying the monthly mortgage.

If I get married and have a kid, I’d get auto-enrolled into the Sandwich Generation. No questions asked. 🙂

We can still help the next generation escape this fate

For many of us, I would like to think that we are in a position where we can help our kids get out of the Sandwich Generation by taking care of our own retirement.

When your kids do not have to take care of your retirement, they will be free to focus on being the best version of themselves. Isn’t that truly what we want for our kids?

What if our kids are already doomed?

What if you’re already close to 60 years old and left with a very short financial runway to turn thing around?

I’m sorry because I’m no motivation speaker and I can’t make you jump across a fire pit, thinking that everything’s going to be alright and fill you with all that kool-aid.

The reality is that you’d probably still need your kids to take care of your financial needs. But you could manage your personal finance, reduce unnecessary expenses and channel savings into low-risk income investments. Perhaps you could self-fund at least 50% of your living expenses.

Here are a few simple things I’m doing today to be the last Sandwich Generation

Here are some of the things I’m doing, to ensure my kid (if I ever have one) doesn’t join the Sandwich Generation.

  • Grow my CPF Special Account to hit Full Retirement Sum in 5 4 years’ time through monthly cash top-ups.
  • Grow my CPF Ordinary Account to have enough to pay off my mortgage loan in 10 9 years’ time by continuing to work in a job that pays me at least $6000 per month.
  • Commit a maximum contribution to my SRS account each year to create a second stream of retirement income that can be unlocked at 62.
  • Build up an investment portfolio that can be drawn down when I retire to pay for my retirement expenses.
  • Avoid lifestyle creep by being prudent and spending below my means.
  • Always have a backup plan – for me, I could rent out my HDB flat and live in my SOHO apartment in Phnom Penh at old age if I want.

Remember, every little effort counts!

Every little effort you make, will help ease the burden you have on your kids.

Because even if you may not be the last Sandwich Generation in your family, your decisions could give your kids a chance to be the last Sandwich Generation.

Photo by The Honest Company on Unsplash

  • Sinkie says:

    The sick thing is that if you really just depend on NTUC Income, for sure your kids will be sandwiched generation (unless you die before 70).

    • Mickey J says:

      Respectfully, I think if we depend on insurers to manage our investments, we will forever remain in the Sandwich Generation because we using the right people, platform and tools for the right objectives. Depending on our objectives, we need to identify the right people, platform and tools to achieve our goals.

      • Sinkie says:

        It’s just a sad state of affairs that the wrong people & wrong platform & (mostly) wrong tools are used to deliver the message. LOL!

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