Grandparents holding out their arms to hug grandchildren

Britain’s generous over 50s spend £642 million per month on their kids and grandchildren


From trying out online dating to supporting their grandchildren financially – over fifties are becoming increasingly savvy, defying age-old stereotypes about their age bracket. 

Earlier this year, British Seniors carried out a survey into the lifestyle of senior citizens in the United Kingdom.  The responses of 1,001 over 50s were sampled across different categories that included stereotypes, romance, fitness regimes, and spending habits.

Overall, the study concludes that 71% of over 50s feel younger than their actual age. Those who regard age as just a number, mostly admit to feeling ten years younger than the age reflected on their birth certificate. This optimism certainly explains their higher involvement in activities that are normally considered the domain of young adults.

In terms of their finances, grandparents are exceptionally open-handed as the research shows that individually, over fifties spend an average of £40 per month pampering their children and almost £30 per month on their grandchildren. When adding up these figures, the monthly expenditure on their children for all over fifties is an estimated £380 million, while the average monthly amount spent on grandchildren is £262 million across the UK.

But, these figures only represent leisure times and special occasions, such as birthday and Christmas. Over fifties also report helping out with everyday living expenses and spend an average of £104.90 per month on necessities, totaling an estimated £675 million.

Previous research on the subject has indicated that seniors aged 75 to 79 are most likely to contribute financially toward their living descendants, but it is actually 80 to 84-year-olds that are the most concerned about the financial wellbeing of their children. Married grandmothers are more prepared to offer financial assistance.

It’s clear from British Senior’s research that the assumption that over fifties are financially dependent on their children is outdated. Nowadays, we’re seeing more and more grandparents footing the bill for life events such as weddings, their children’s first house or car and experiences such as holidays.

The emergence of the so-called bank of grandma and grandpa can be attributed to the increase in the cost of living. Over fifties will provide for their children and grandchildren to help them pay for things they cannot afford.  But, sometimes over fifties will also consider this as an inheritance duty as they feel it is more valuable to provide for their children now than to leave them with the liability of inheritance tax one day.

Dave Sutherland, Managing Director of British Seniors Insurance Agency commented on the survey’s findings: “Everyone loves being able to treat family members where possible and the over 50s are no different. Whether it’s gifts, days out or general help with child care, it’s a great feeling to be able to be there for your loved ones.

“We want to encourage people to make sure that they have some form of life insurance or cover in place so as to provide peace of mind that when the inevitable happens so they can continue helping their loved ones financially.”

According to Sutherland, many of their customers are concerned that their loved ones will be burdened with debt when paying off their funeral.  And, with 79% of adults in the UK not covered by a life or funeral policy, it may well be the case when they pass away. Rather than dipping into their savings, British Insurance encourages over fifties to consider life insurance as a cheap and easy way to provide long-term financial security for their family.

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