Older generation paying out thousands to help family and friends

Published by Ruth Jackson on 14 March 2012.
Last updated on 14 March 2012

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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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