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  Sandwich generation

Sandwich generation challenges

You can earn CPD hours

This Sandwich generation overview module has been CII accredited and can be used as part of your structured CPD hours.

The material in this section was first published in 2014 as part of the Aviva Sandwich Generation study.
It has not been updated but is available for your reference.

The sandwich generation

We know you need more than just the right products from providers to consistently help clients and maintain a successful business. And by using Behavioural Science techniques, you can really make a difference.

You told us about the importance of clients aged 45 to 60. In fact, up to two thirds of your client base is likely to be within this age group, so it’s crucial you’re armed with the tools and insight necessary to have relevant conversations with this client segment.

In this section you'll find insight material to help you and you can even claim CII accredited CPD hours for what you've learned.

Product conversations

See how you can use behavioural science in product conversations with the sandwich generation and earn even more CPD hours:

Or visit our CPD support page for more great resources.

  Who are the sandwich generation?

The sandwich generation:

  • Are aged between 45 and 60
  • Face a number of issues and pressures, as they’re caring for themselves and the generations above and below
  • Are often uncertain about what to do, or where to start with financial planning

Why is the sandwich generation an important area to tackle?

Why is the sandwich generation so important to your business?

  What is behavioural science?

Behavioural science is a branch of science that deals primarily with human action. It shows that we are hard wired in many behaviours, and respond in a predictable way to certain cues and influences.

Working with the experts

We’ve worked with leading behavioural scientist Professor Paul Dolan of the London School of Economics, and best-selling and business author Steve Martin, to show you how behavioural science can help you have more effective conversations with sandwich generation clients.

Our experts will provide you with expert videos, downloads and an invaluable book, filled with practical hints and tips based on behavioural science, that can help you overcome the common inertia and complexity of this generation.

How behavioural science can help you advise the sandwich generation

In this introductory video, our experts demonstrate how behavioural science can be used effectively to advise the sandwich generation.

  What is MINDSPACE?

MINDSPACE is an easy to remember mnemonic based on an influential paper co-authored by Paul Dolan, a Professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics.

It summarises nine of the most robust drivers of human behaviour and decision making, and can be used as an effective checklist when seeking to influence and change client behaviour.




We are heavily influenced by who communicates information to us


Our responses to incentives are shaped by predictable mental shortcuts such as strongly avoiding losses and preferring smaller pay-outs now rather than larger ones later


We are strongly influenced by what others do, especially those most similar to us


We ‘go with the flow’ of pre-set options


Our attention is drawn to what is novel and seems relevant to us


Our acts are often influenced by subconscious cues


Our emotional associations can powerfully shape our actions


We seek to be consistent with our public promises, and reciprocate acts


We act in ways that make us feel better about ourselves

  So how can you use MINDSPACE with clients?

MINDSPACE can be used in many ways to unlock your clients’ thinking and benefit you both. For example, if you’re talking to a client whose children are approaching university, you can use the behavioural insight that we are strongly influenced by what others do, especially those in a similar situation to us. So you could let them know about the types of products that others at a similar life stage to them chose and explain that it’s not unusual for clients around their same age to bring up the same problem. You could go on to re-assure them that many people tend to feel much better about taking action once they’ve talked it through, to encourage them to do the same.

Similarly, you could use the insight that people mostly prefer to ‘go with the flow’ and follow a small number of pre-set options rather than exploring all of them because it makes life easier. So when you’re advising on products, for example, you could show an edited set of outlined proposals highlighting the default choice that most people opted for. These are just two of the useful tips you can use.

To find out more practical techniques:

Download your behavioural science top tips guide

 Using behavioural science to tackle the challenges of the sandwich generation

What can you expect from the New Thinking book?

  • Valuable insights about the sandwich generation and their behavioural triggers
  • Introduction to MINDSPACE – the nine key drivers of behavioural science as defined by Professor Paul Dolan
  • Examples of the principle of SMALLBIGs – where small changes can make a big difference
  • Ideas and tips to help you speak to the sandwich generation about retirement, investments, health and protection
  • Four specially commissioned chapters that use behavioural science to help you tac http:// kle the challenges of this group of people

Grab your free copy of the new thinking book here

Helping you earn CPD hours

We know how important it is as an adviser to continuously develop your understanding and knowledge. That’s why with the New Thinking book, you can earn structured hours towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – our Sandwich generation book has been CII accredited, so once you've read the book cover to cover, come back here and claim them.

Claim yours now


  Expert videos that are well worth a watch

Working out what makes clients tick will give you a distinct business advantage – especially if it helps you determine what their real motivations are and makes tricky conversations easier. So to gain a deeper understanding of some of the methodology employed by two of the UK’s leading behavioural scientists, take a look at these insightful videos.

Unlock client motivations

Exploring some of the primary ways to unlock clients’ underlying motivations and open them up to potentially new approaches to achieving their financial goals.

Make difficult conversations easier

Helping clients consider future events without making them feel uncomfortable or potentially damaging the adviser/client relationship.

  Aviva insights: facts about the sandwich generation

To help you identify, understand and most importantly, help your sandwich generation clients, we’ve created this handy infographic. Take a look through. You might well be surprised by some of the facts it reveals

 Download the infographic 


Sandwich generation infographic

 Simple steps to encourage customer retention

Behavioural science expert and best-selling business author Steve Martin shares his top tips for retaining sandwich generation customers.

By paying more attention to commitments (rather than progress) and getting the end of a client meeting right, you could make your business more efficient by retaining valuable customers.

Read Steve's blog here

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WA50002 11/2016