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High household costs could make stay-at-home parents a thing of the past

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Stay-at-home parents are being pushed back into work to meet the cost of high household bills, research has found.

Despite signs of economic improvement, half of parents with children under 18 are reliant on two incomes to maintain their standard of living, the study by Post Office Life Insurance found.

But it is not just parents with young children who are feeling the strain. Some 32 per cent of parents in their fifties have adult children financially reliant on them, while 12 per cent of those in their 60s are still supporting their children financially.

Paul Havenhead, head of insurance at Post Office, said: “With many still battling with high household costs, it is no surprise so many would-be stay at home parents are pushed back to work. With families needing two or even three incomes to stay afloat, it’s clear that without action, the role of the stay-at-home parent may become a thing of the past for the UK.”

The research also found that, despite the number of people supporting financial dependents, many families are not prepared to lose their main source of income.

One in ten said they would be forced to sell property to stay afloat, while 13 per cent would become reliant on credit cards and loans.

According to the Post Office, only 56 per cent of UK adults currently have life insurance and people over the age of fifty are the least likely to have cover.

Havenhead concluded: “It is vital people take steps to protect themselves, especially when you consider that so many people may be reliant on the same source of income. We can never be sure what’s around the corner and if disaster were to strike, you don’t want a difficult financial situation to add to loved ones’ worries.”

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