What is the ‘Sandwich Generation’
The sandwich generation is the generation of middle-aged individuals who are pressured to support both aging parents and growing children. The sandwich generation is named so because they are effectively “sandwiched” between the obligation to care for their aging parents – who may be ill, unable to perform various tasks or in need of financial support – and children, who require financial, physical and emotional support. The trends of increasing lifespans and having children at an older age have contributed to the sandwich generation phenomenon.
BREAKING DOWN ‘Sandwich Generation’
A 2005 Pew Center study estimated that one in eight Americans between the ages of 40 and 60 are simultaneously providing some financial assistance to both a child and a parent. The obligations placed on the sandwich generation demand considerable time and money. With the added pressures of managing one’s own career and personal issues, as well as the need to contribute to one’s own retirement, the individuals of the sandwich generation are under significant stress. In some cases, these baby boomers are having to postpone their own retirements because of the added financial obligations. Also, some members of the sandwich generation are further overextended by caring for their grandchildren.
A generation gap consists of the differences in opinions expressed by members of two different generations. More specifically, a generation gap can be used to describe the differences in actions, beliefs and tastes members of younger generations when compared to members of older generations regarding politics, values and other matters. While generation gaps have been prevalent throughout all periods of history, the breadth of differences of these gaps has widened in the 20th and 21st centuries.
BREAKING DOWN ‘Generation Gap’
Generation gaps play big roles in businesses, as companies must find ways to balance the needs and views of individuals from differing age groups. Businesses must be aware of the changing demographics of their client base, as gender gaps can have drastic effects on their business as well as the overall business cycle.
History of Generation Gap
The term “generation gap” was first used in the 1960s. During that time, the younger generation – which is now referred to as the baby boomers – showed a significant difference in their beliefs and opinions compared to what their parents’ generation projected.
Baby boomer is a descriptive term for a person who was born between 1946 and 1964. The baby boomer generation makes up a substantial portion of the world’s population, especially in developed nations: It represents nearly 20% of the American public. As the largest generational group in U.S. history (until the millennial generation slightly surpassed them), baby boomers have had, and continue to have a significant impact on the economy. As a result, they are often the focus of marketing campaigns and business plans.
BREAKING DOWN ‘Baby Boomer’
After the end of World War II, birth rates across the world spiked. The explosion of new infants became known as the baby boom. During the boom, almost 77 million babies were born in the United States alone, comprising nearly 40% of the American population. The growth in population created a secondary spur to the economy. More people created more consumer demand, triggering an increase in manufacturing and production. Average income rose during these decades, which further increased demand. This upward spiral created a long-lasting economic boom that raised the standard of living throughout the country and the developed world.