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Half of grandparents gift cash to help families with cost-of-living crisis

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

An army of retirees is helping family with money, free childcare, and other jobs as they struggle through the cost-of-living crisis.

More than half of grandparents have supported their children and grandchildren financially over the past six months with the majority providing cash payments.

Two in five said the payments were made to supplement their offspring’s income, while others said the money was part of a contribution towards a new car, house renovation or wedding.

One in 10 (13%) gave cash towards a house deposit, while a similar number helped contribute towards their family member’s holiday.

The research from Paragon Bank revealed that 66% used cash from their savings, while just under half (49%) used money from their pension income.

Less than one in 10 gifted cash from their salary (8%), 6% came from dividend income and 3% cashed in an investment to fund the payment.

Of the 2,700 over-55s polled by Paragon, 81% who had supported family members said they didn’t expect to get their money back. Less than 10% said they expected to get some money back, while 7% said they want full repayment.

Free childcare

While many grandparents support families with hard cash, others help by providing free childcare, with one in five aged between 65 and 74 babysitting for their own kids.

Paragon revealed that more than a quarter (28%) look after their grandchildren during the day several times a week.

More than half (52%) do the school pick up and drop off at least once a week.

Meanwhile, four in 10 have their grandchildren over either before or after school to help parents.

The main reason grandparents help their own offspring with childcare is to enable parents to work (64%), with 23% doing so because of the high cost of childcare.

However, 55% said they look after grandchildren because they enjoy it, while 23% said it’s to help their own children cope.

Overall, 99% of those who look after grandchildren don’t receive any financial benefit for doing so.

Meanwhile, some grandparents help out with other daily tasks such as DIY (18%), shopping  (14%), gardening (13%) and housework (7%).

Financial and practical help

Derek Sprawling, Paragon Bank savings director, said: “The bank of grandma and grandpa is becoming more prevalent as the budgets of the working population come under more pressure. Our survey showed this group is helping their children and grandchildren financially and through more practical help; mainly through childcare but also other areas such as DIY, gardening and housework.”

Sprawling added that grandparents providing childcare should look into Specified Adult Childcare Credits to ensure they’re not missing out on a valuable state pension uplift.