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BAM Key Details: 

  • New research from Realtor.com® shows 17% of Americans belong to the “Sandwich Generation,” meaning they take care of their children (under 18) as well as their parent(s)/grandparent(s). 
  • One-third (33%) of these “Sandwich Generation” buyers say their situation has actually helped them buy a home, with many citing other financial benefits.
  • Millennials and men are most likely to belong to this group, followed by Gen Z.  

About one in six Americans (17%) provide daily care for their children and for their parent(s) or grandparent(s). And according to their survey responses, quite a few have found the financial impact of their situation to be a positive one. 

In fact, one-third of these “Sandwich Generation” buyers say their situation has actually helped them buy a home, while others have benefited financially in other ways. 

That’s according to new research by Realtor.com® on the financial impact of dual caregiving. 

More than half report that the financial assistance they receive from being dual caregivers has helped them afford a home—at a time when high mortgage rates have added hundreds or even thousands of dollars to monthly mortgage payments since the pandemic. 

Unfortunately for home shoppers, affordability is still a big challenge in the current housing market, but for the Sandwich Generation, family support is providing a helping hand when it comes to finances. Over half of adults within the Sandwich Generation who receive financial support from family members report that this support is helping them to afford a home, while a little less than half (47%) said the support helped them save for retirement.

Laura Eddy

VP Research and Insight for Realtor.com®

Equal Parts Negative and Helpful

Below-normal inventory continues to prop up home prices. And while buyers still face affordability challenges, the overall market still favors home sellers. That said, buyers have more leverage than they did before—especially in markets where inventory has grown the fastest and homes are lingering for longer before going under contract. 

For folks in the Sandwich Generation, about half (47%) say their dual caregiving has had a measurable impact on their finances, including their housing situation. 

Among those reporting a negative impact, 30% say their situation has stopped them from buying a home, while another 30% say it’s stopped them from paying off their mortgage. 

On the flipside, a third of them report their dual caregiving situation has given them the financial edge they needed to buy a home

It’s not uncommon for people to find themselves taking responsibility for the home of an aging or deceased family member and ultimately inheriting the home after they pass. With today’s increased home equity and the state of current lending rates, it can be an extremely helpful way to get into the housing market, especially if they are not currently a homeowner. Real estate continues to be the most consistent method for building generational wealth.

Kendall Bonner

Realtor.com® housing expert

Men, Millennials, and Gen Z are Most Likely to Be Part of the Sandwich Generation

There isn’t just one age group that belongs to the Sandwich Generation. Respondents to the Realtor.com® survey who identified as dual caregivers spanned multiple demographics, with Millennials making up the largest portion at 36%, followed by Gen Z at 30%, Baby Boomers at 17% and Gen X at 16%. 

Also, between men and women, men were more likely to say they care for both their kids (under 18) and parents/grandparents. Over half of them (56%) identify as part of the Sandwich Generation, compared to 44% of women. 

Millennials Are the Generation Most Financially Affected by Dual Caregiving

Millennials are feeling the financial impact of being in the Sandwich Generation to the greatest degree—on both sides of the spectrum. 

About half (46%) of Millennial dual caregivers say their situation has stood in the way of their buying a home, while nearly as many (43%) say their caregiving situation is helping them to afford a home, despite today’s higher mortgage rates and home prices

Millennials, who are more likely to be parents, provide the most support for their children at home (financially as well as in other ways), while Gen Z are more likely than the general public to provide financial support to their parents. 

Read the full report for more information, including methodology.