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Parents Support Their Parents Financially

Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of parents have helped their parents with the cost of living in the last year, research from savings and investments company Standard Life has shown.

Described by Standard Life as the “grandparent generation”, older members of the family have received help from their children – who are themselves parents – with shopping, holiday and utility costs.

Key findings include:

  • parents who help their parents out financially give an average of £2,251 per parent
  • 62 per cent of grandparents wouldn’t turn to a family member for financial help
  • 17 per cent of grandparents also helped their parents financially in the last 12 months
  • grandparents gave their parents an average “top-up” of £1,819 in the last year
  • only 34 per cent of grandparents openly discuss their finances with their family.

Standard Life said families should talk to their older relatives about:

  • Their will. Do they have one? Where is it?
  • Power of attorney. Who would be able to make decisions for them if they were incapacitated?
  • Their pension. Do they have one that gives them enough income? Will it still pay out to their spouse if they die?
  • Living costs. Could they better manage their cost of living and do they need help finding better deals on monthly bills?
  • Care costs. Is there any provision in place in case they can no longer look after themselves?

Julie Hutchison, family financial expert at Standard Life, said:

“The fact that some people, even if they are grandparents themselves, are providing financial support to their parents these days shows the two-way traffic in terms of how money is moving around. It’s not all about the trickle-down effect and inheritance planning. Many older members of the family clearly find it difficult to ask their family for help, even if they are finding their income has fallen below the cost of day to day living. That’s why it’s important to try to talk about money as a family, to share worries and to tap into any help that is available.”

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