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Grandparents give £21bn to family each year

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
19/10/2018
Millions of grandparents give their family cash handouts in a bid to pass on their wealth during their lifetime and to help those who are struggling.

Four in 10 grandparents (5.8 million) give their children and grandchildren a helping hand, gifting an average of £1,475 each year. In total, this equates to £21.4bn.

Children receive the most at £743 a year, while grandchildren gain around £450 a year.

However, grandparents in Yorkshire and Humberside are revealed to be the most generous, donating £2,298 each year. This is followed by parents in London (£2,043) and those in the East Midlands (£1,929).

According to the research from Charter Savings Bank, grandparents’ cash is most likely to cover the younger generation’s living costs (30%), holidays (21%), and home improvements (19%).

For one in six, the money is helping towards a home deposit while 12% want to clear university debt.

But the research reveals that for 5% of grandparents, they’re also financially supporting their own parents.

In other cases, grandparents aren’t just giving families a cash boost, they’re also providing much needed childcare. The average grandparent gives up four hours a week looking after grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

This is the equivalent of working 28 days and helps save parents around £1,600, a collective £4.3bn.

While baby boomers can often afford to foot financial handouts, Charter found that 37% admitted to having to make lifestyle changes, including fewer holidays (58%), and more than a third postponed or cancelled home improvement plans.

Paul Whitlock, director of savings at Charter Savings Bank, said: “Rising living costs and squeezed family incomes mean grandparents are having to ride to the younger generation’s financial rescue. In many cases grandparents find it hard to say no and while they like being hands-on, the risk is that they compromise their own standard of living.

“Savings accounts play a key role in grandparents’ ability to finance the younger generation, so it’s important to check they’re getting a competitive rate.  Many grandparents have built up sizeable nest eggs thanks to years of saving regularly. Passing this habit down through the family will help to ensure future generations can also benefit from a financial leg-up.”

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