Older generation paying out thousands to help family and friends

14 March 2012

Millions of older people admit to handing out thousands of pounds to help their families and close friends, a new report has revealed.

According to Aviva's latest Real Retirement Report, 41% of over-55s have provided financial assistance to their families and close friends in the past year. The typical amount loaned or handed out is £1,430 - 9% of the average annual income.

Some 23% of those who had parted with money had given it to adult children, while 13% had used the money to help out grandchildren.

The group who handed out the most cash were those in the 65-74 age group.

Financial assistance

However, more notably, 20% of people aged over 75 have been giving financial assistance to their children, despite living on a fixed or limited income themselves.

According to those surveyed, the main reason the over-55s are handing out cash is to help pay off debts (31%), followed by one-off costs (17%) then topping up income (17%).

On top of helping out their children and grandchildren, 4% of the over-55s surveyed are also still paying for the care or support of their own elderly parents.

"Every age group has come under financial pressure as a result of the current economic situation, but the over-55s have their own unique pressures. Traditionally, this is when they are finalising their retirement plans or surviving on a fixed income, and so unplanned costs and supporting others can have a significant impact on their future standard of living," says Clive Bolton, spokesperson for Aviva.

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