Canadian baby boomers are feeling the squeeze of being “the Sandwich Generation” and for many, it’s beginning to compromise their lives.

According to a recent survey of 2,195 Canadians between the ages of 45 and 60 conducted for BMO Financial Group by Ipsos Reid, of the one-third (34%) of boomers who currently assist aging relatives: 66% say it has had some negative impact on their lives; 31% say they have less time for themselves; 20% have had to take time off work; and 19% say that they have been impacted financially.

Adding to the pressure, 44% of these boomers also financially support their children. Yet, despite the challenges, more than half (59%) of caregivers say assisting aging family members has strengthened their relationships.

“This research corroborates other studies we have conducted over the past two years that paint a picture of a generation juggling the needs of parents and children, along with their own priorities,” said Kris Vikmanis, head of retirement market, BMO Financial Group, in a news release. “As Canadians live longer, this trend will continue to grow, so it’s important for boomers who are currently providing care for aging relatives or expecting to do so in the future, to start planning for the impact this can have on their finances and lifestyle.”

Yet fewer than one in 10 (7%) have asked for financial advice about budgeting and planning for the assistance they provide to their family members. According to the survey, boomers who are not currently assisting aging family members, but who expect they will at some point, are not planning either.

“Boomers tell us that they recognize retirement planning is important, however our research has indicated, time and again, that many aren’t taking the necessary steps to plan for their future. The notion of factoring in costs for a family member’s care or their own care is not necessarily top of mind, but it should be,” said Vikmanis.

BMO Harris Private Banking offers a wealth management service, called encircle, designed to lessen the burden of financial management on seniors and their adult children. enCircle advisors work with clients and their families to tailor a plan that can include bill payment, investment management, estate planning, coordinating the filing of tax returns, applying for travel insurance, travel banking, as well as home and health care education.

Since this service was launched in May 2005, BMO says the response from clients has been extremely positive.

In addition, BMO Financial Group recently launched a podcast series examining emerging issues facing Canadian boomers who are approaching retirement. The latest episode focuses on caregiving and is hosted by Pamela Wallin, a journalist for more than 30 years and a member of BMO Financial Group’s Advisory Council on Retirement. The podcast features Dr. Amy D’Aprix, a gerontologist who began working with caregivers and seniors more than 20 years ago. The podcast can be downloaded from BMO’s retirement website at: