Raising a family in Singapore can be a huge strain on the wallet, and if you are somewhere between your 30s and 50s, chances are you are also financially supporting your elderly parents to some extent.
If being the “sandwich generation” in regular times isn’t hard enough, the recent inflation just makes it worse. No one is immune to these pressures—even experts like personal wealth manager Cyntalia Cipto and clinical psychologist Dr Lin Hong-Hui, both mummies themselves, are feeling the heat.
“The inflation we are experiencing now is definitely impactful when we are supporting ageing parents, growing kids and a mortgage. Medical costs and daily expenses are increasing and outpacing wage gains,” says Cyntalia who specialises in financial planning for families.
Dr Lin, who also has two young children, concurred, “My primary concern would be for medical needs because those are often unexpected.”
It isn’t just monetary stresses, however. The sandwich generation often also serves as key emotional support for their parents, partners and children. “It can feel particularly distressing and unsustainable when one feels that after giving their all to others, they have no more energy left for themselves such as doing something enjoyable,” says Dr Lin, who runs her own practice at The Psychology Atelier.
And at its worst, the pressure on yourself to be perfect in all domains can lead to chronic anxiety, panic attacks, anger outbursts, burnout and other detrimental mental-emotional issues, she adds.
But it isn’t an entirely bleak picture. Dr Lin and Cyntalia remind us that while times may be tough, there are ways to cope, as long you are willing to adapt.