Families Give Parents The Cold Shoulder

Posted in: Research Last updated: 21 May 2006

Almost nine in ten British families (89%) are not prepared to financially support their parents in old age – with more than a third (39%) expecting their parents to rely on the state to fund the expenses commonly associated with old age – according to new research from Engage Mutual Assurance.

With around 850,000 three generation households already within the UK and estimates suggesting there will be over 15 million over-65’s in the UK within the next 70 years, the latest findings from Engage Mutual Assurance suggest ‘three generation Britain’ is at risk of not only being unprepared for the basic costs of caring for elderly relatives, but also the subsequent expenses after they’re gone.

Engage Mutual Assurance asked a representative sample of over 1,500 Britons how they, or their parents, would fund the cost of care in later life.

Key Findings include:

More than eight in ten (83%) cannot afford to support their parents using their current savings pot

Just one in two anticipate their parents being able to fund their old age and beyond with pensions (50%) or savings (49%)

One in five families will invite their parents to live with them (14%) or other family members (5%)

As many as 14 per cent of families have no idea how their parents old age will be fundede

13 percent of 30 to 50 year olds and 5 percent of over 50 year olds still have no idea as to how they will fund the cost of their parents care, suggesting that even those with ageing relatives are unprepared

Karl Elliott, 3GB spokesperson for Engage:

“Recent reports show raising a child to the age of 21 is costing today’s parents as much as £166,000, and with older relatives living for longer and the rising costs of living, providing financially for family members is becoming increasingly difficult to afford. It’s a concern that many people aren’t aware of the costs of supporting their parents in old age, let alone what they can do to help make provisions for them, given the financial sacrifices these parents have made for their children.”

“With an emerging trend towards three-generation households in the UK, and the growing financial pressures of living longer, it is important that people consider how they will cope financially with old age, particularly if their younger and more senior dependents are increasingly looking to them for support”

“The financial sector has tended to focus primarily on the concerns of middle aged Britain. engage Mutual Assurance offers simple solutions that will help today’s changing families to prepare for the financial issues which arise at different stages of life.”