New Canadians in “Sandwich Generation” feel financial pinch most

Among those new Canadians who reported providing daily care for their parents in Desjardins Financial Security’s (DFS) most recent health survey, 71 per cent admitted to feeling a related financial impact, compared to 61 per cent of all respondents who provided daily support.

The survey also found that 20 per cent of those respondents who were born outside Canada were more likely to be members of the “Sandwich Generation” — adults who provide personal and financial support to their parents and children simultaneously — compared to seven per cent of all respondents.

“Most Canadians are finding it difficult to make ends meet. But these results are showing us that immigrants are feeling particularly overwhelmed because they’re balancing more than the average Canadian,” said Reh Bhanji, regional sales manager of the Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance division at Desjardins Group. “The ‘Sandwich Generation’ may be a new phenomenon in North America, but it’s not for many new Canadians — it’s life. They’re juggling the challenge of establishing roots in a new country, raising a family and caring for elderly parents, all within a very tight budget.”

Having a plan is essential

Despite their financial difficulties, those who had immigrated to Canada less than five years ago were more likely to have a plan with their parents to provide for their care (40 per cent compared to 18.9 per cent overall). “It’s encouraging that many new Canadians have plans in place to care for their families,” said Bhanji. “However, there are many who are still struggling. Working with an advisor can help rebalance the plan to ensure that your family’s financial security is assured while providing your parents with the care that they need.” More information about DFS’ health survey can be found at

About the Survey

SOM Surveys, Opinion Polls and Marketing conducted this Web survey on behalf of Desjardins Financial Security from August 10 to 23, 2011. In total, 3,120 questionnaires were completed with a sample of Canadian Web panellists aged 18 to 64 years old. The data was weighted to reflect the distribution of the Canadian population aged 18 to 64 years old in terms of gender and mother tongue distributions in 14 regions (Atlantic Provinces, Montreal CMA and elsewhere in Quebec, Toronto CMA and elsewhere in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Calgary CMA and elsewhere in Alberta, Vancouver CMA and elsewhere in British Columbia). The data was also weighted to reflect the population distributions in terms of the joint age-gender distribution and the proportion of adults who live alone in Quebec, Ontario and elsewhere in Canada.

– NC