Over-55s the “generous generation”: Key

The over-55s are the “generous generation,” with more than three out of four homeowners (76 per cent) looking to help their children financially, according to Key.

Research by the equity release adviser found that as well as helping their children, more than one in five (22 per cent) in this age group help their grandchildren too.

Key found the average handout for the offspring of over-55s stands at almost £17,000 while grandchildren can look forward to an average of £11,300 in pre-inheritance.

Key’s research among homeowners aged 55-plus found nearly half (46 per cent) have already helped children while another 30 per cent plan to do so. That equates to around 8.6m homeowners helping their families.

The study found about 4 per cent have also made financial gifts to grandchildren and another 18 per cent plan to do so – the equivalent of around 2.5m homeowners aged 55 and over.

The money is being given to help with a range of financial needs ranging from house deposits to paying off debts.

Key chief executive office Will Hale says: “The over-55s are truly a generous generation, with many looking to access their housing equity help out their children and grandchildren. Of course, not all over-55s are homeowners and not all can afford to give money but those who can generally want to.

“Indeed, with more than three out of four planning to help children and one in five helping grandchildren there is clearly is a real desire amongst this group to support younger generations and a recognition of some of the financial challenges they are facing. Despite recent reports pointing to a growing intergenerational divide our experience is that families continue to offer financial support when it is needed across the generations.

“The over-55s have done well out of property wealth growth and many may be benefiting from generous company pension schemes. However, whilst their current financial well-being is enabling them to help out family there may be worries of over-extending themselves and under-estimating the costs involved in the latter stages of life. Therefore, it is vital that the over-55s seek specialist advice when choosing to access the wealth in their property.”

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