Thursday, May 06, 2010

What’s on the mind of the “Sandwich Generation”

Kids and not so young kids on one side - ageing parents on the other – you in the middle. Welcome to the Sandwich Generation. Why this term has remained confined to the US I don’t know because it applies equally to all nationalities.

This article, from the WSJ, argues, rightly in my view, that today's teens are closer to their parents than previous generations. I am not sure if teens have grown up faster or their parents are desparately seeking to hold onto their youth. Whatever, the two groups seem to have more in common.

In my language I would say that this blending of generations is good proof for marketers to get their heads around the concept of age neutrality.

To give you a feel of the issue, a MetLife's Mature Market Institute found in a recent survey that "middle boomers" (the 28 million Americans who are ages 52 to 58) have at least one parent still living and half still have children living at home. Nearly three in four of the middle boomers have been providing financial assistance and support to their children and grandchildren and that's averaged about $38,000 over the past five years. Some 14% are providing care to older parents.

Not a comfortable place to be in the middle. Dick Stroud

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