Close-knit family ties embedded in the Filipino culture have their benefits. However, at its worst, these ties can create a cycle of dependence that the next generation should break free from. Defined as people who are responsible for taking care of themselves, their children, and their aging parents, the sandwich generation is something that most Filipinos can easily relate to.


Who belongs to the sandwich generation?

People between the age of 40-65 are identified as the sandwich generation. However, even people in their 20s could also become a part of it.

While there’s nothing wrong with being the breadwinner and provider for the “family”, not everyone can handle the great deal of stress that comes with it.  According to the survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, people in the 35 to 54 age group, experience more stress than any other age group as they are the ones who balance the demanding and delicate task of caring for their growing children and their aging parents.


How to break the cycle of the sandwich generation

1. Improve financial knowledge

Financial illiteracy is one of the reasons why sandwich generations emerge. Parents who fail to explore opportunities to grow their money may fail to secure their future. By developing financial knowledge and building awareness of the possible options to grow wealth, a person can plan for a brighter future.

2. Be open to money discussions.

In a conservative society, money talks may be taboo. This should not be the case. Finances should be openly discussed among family members so they will have a clear understanding of their financial status. It also encourages support for a family member who is struggling to provide for household needs.

3. Save early.

Savings should be started as soon as possible. Learn from the mistakes of the past. Proper budgeting and allocation of funds should be done so that earnings will not only be used up on monthly expenses. A part of it should be spent on building the retirement fund. Children whose aging parents were not able to prepare for retirement face the responsibility of supporting their  monthly expenses.

4. Get insured. Many times.

Unforeseen circumstances can cause financial difficulties so families should prepare for them. By getting the right insurance plan, one can access additional funds to manage and overcome life’s surprises. Choose insurance plans with enough coverage to ensure that the financial support needed will be available when it matters the most.

5. Invest.

Grow money from various investment plans. Think about the future. Invest so that needs will be supported even during the golden days. This will also take the financial burden off the next generation in the family even when one is no longer capable to work.

A good investment plan should be based on future goals and risk tolerance. An honest look must also be given to one's financial situation. While it may seem a huge step to take for those with limited income, mutual funds present a range of opportunities for everyone. Mutual funds investing can be started for as little as ₱100!


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There’s nothing wrong with taking care of aging members of the family especially if one is capable to provide for their financial needs. However, when a culture of dependency has already been running in the family and the burden becomes too much to bear, important steps must be taken. Prepare for the future by empowering the members of the family. An improvement in financial literacy is one of the keys to breaking free from the cycle and being the last sandwich generation in the family.


Do you have questions about insurance and investment? Talk to a financial advisor today to get professional advice.