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  • Grandparents Step Up Their Financial Support Of Grandkids

    December 24, 2012 by N/A

    More than six in 10 grandparents (62%) have provided financial support to grandchildren in the past five years, averaging $8,289, according to MetLife Mature Market and advocacy group Generations United. Grandparents distribute this assistance in cash (82%), gifts (62%), U.S. Savings Bonds (12%), stocks or bonds (4%), or life insurance proceeds (2%).

    Grandparents earmark financial assistance for clothing (43%), basic general support (33%), education (29%), life events such as graduation (21%), traditional savings account support (15%), and help with a car purchase (10%). Among those who support the educational needs of their grandchildren, 24% provide help for expenses such as school field trips and educational supplies.

    Some 43% of grandparents financially helping out their grandchildren cite the economic downturn as the reason; 34% are helping even though this assistance is having a negative effect on their own finances. The vast majority (81%) prefer to provide smaller gifts throughout their lifetimes, while 19% prefer to leave a lump sum as a legacy when they die.

    While 62% of grandparents give their grandchildren financial assistance, only 36% provide financial advice. The advice they typically provide includes the importance of early investing (87%), avoiding debt (75%), and maintaining financial security through life and health insurance (49%).

    The “Average” Grandparent

    Grandparents over the age of 45 have an average of four grandchildren. Most have at least one grandchild between the ages of six and 11 (56%) or under age six (53%). While 59% of grandparents have at least one grandchild living within 50 miles, 39% have a grandchild more than 500 miles away.

    Two in 10 grandparents (20%) live in multigenerational households, and 30% have grandchildren living with them fulltime. More than one in 10 grandparents (13%) provide care for at least one grandchild. Of these, 74% provide care on a weekly basis, and 15% are raising one or more grandchildren. Grandmothers are more likely than grandfathers to provide care (15% vs. 9%). The majority of grandparents who provide childcare do so with a smile: 58% provide care because they enjoy it.

    Special Bonding

    There’s a generation gap when it comes to careers and employment. Whereas today’s teens and Millennials see careers as something more than just a way to earn a paycheck, their elders disagree. Nearly six in 10 retired grandparents (59%) say their primary reason for working was to make money to support themselves and family. Fewer than one in three (32%) say they were doing what they loved, and only 25% felt they were making a positive difference in the lives of others.

    More than half of grandparents with multiple grandchildren (54%) say they have an especially close relationship with one particular grandchild, while 21% say they don’t have a special relationship with any of their grandchildren, and 23% say they have special bonds with all of them.

    Grandparents connect with their grandchildren primarily on the phone (69%) or face-to-face (67%). Just over three in 10 grandparents (31%) email with their grandchildren, 24% connect via Facebook, 15% send text messages, and 12% use Skype. None of the grandparents surveyed use Twitter to connect with their grandchildren.

    Although nearly a quarter of grandparents use Facebook to communicate with their grandchildren, only 9% say it’s the most enjoyable way to keep in touch. Some 15% of grandparents text with their grandchildren, but only 4% say it’s the most enjoyable. Grandparents who use Skype are enthusiastic about it; 12% use it with their grandkids, and 11% find it the most enjoyable method of communicating with them.

    Grandparents engage in different activities with their grandchildren depending on children’s ages. Those with grandchildren under age six see them most often at family celebrations. Grandparents of tweens enjoy taking the kids to the library and/or reading to them. Grandparents also cook with their tween grandchildren, engage in craft projects, take them to the movies, and participate in outdoor activities with them. Grandparents of teens ages 12-17 typically do volunteer activities together. [GRANDPARENTS]

    CONTACTS AND CONNECTIONS: Generations United, Donna Butts, Executive Director, 1331 H St., NW, #900, Washington, DC 20005; 202-289-3979; dbutts@gu.org; www.gu.org.

    MetLife, Shalana Morris, 1095 Ave. of the Americas, 40th Fl., New York, NY 10036; 212-578-1115; snmorris@metlife.com; www.metlife.com.

    AGES OF GRANDPARENTS' GRANDCHILDREN, 2012
    
    
    Under age six   53%
    
    
    Ages 6-11       56%
    
    
    Ages 12-17      47%
    
    
    Ages 18-21      25%
    
    
    Over age 21     28%
    
    
    NOTE: More than one response permitted.
    
    
    SOURCE: MetLife, Generations United
    
    
    Note: Table made from bar graph.
    
    
    FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE GRANDPARENTS HAVE GIVEN TO THEIR GRANDCHILDREN
    OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS
    
    
    No answer           14%
    
    
    More than $50,000    4%
    
    
    $25,000-$49,999      3%
    
    
    $1 5,000-$24,999     4%
    
    
    $1O,000-$14,999      4%
    
    
    $5,000-$9,999       14%
    
    
    $1,000-$4,999       30%
    
    
    Less than $1,000    27%
    
    
    SOURCES: MetLife, Generations United
    
    
    Note: Table made from pie chart.
    
    
    VALUES GRANDPARENTS BELIEVE ARE "VERY IMPORTANT" TO PASS DOWN TO
    THEIR GRANDCHILDREN, 2012
    
    
    Honesty                          88%
    
    
    Good behavior                    82%
    
    
    Voting                           73%
    
    
    Self-sufficiency                 70%
    
    
    Higher education                 69%
    
    
    Good health habits               68%
    
    
    Conscientiousness                67%
    
    
    Preserving family ties           67%
    
    
    Financial security               55%
    
    
    Holiday observances, traditions  41%
    
    
    Heritage/ancestry                41%
    
    
    Religion/religious observances   40%
    
    
    Cultural beliefs/customs         36%
    
    
    NOTE: More than one response permitted.
    
    
    SOURCE: MetLife, Generations United
    
    
    ACTIVITIES GRANDPARENTS DO MOST FREQUENTLY WITH GRANDCHILDREN, BY
    AGE, 2012
    
    
    UNDERAGE SIX                   AGES 12-17
    
    
    1. Family celebration  1. Family celebration
    
    
    2. Go out to eat       2. Go out to eat
    
    
    3. Outdoor activities  3. Attend grandkids' event
    
    
    AGES 6-11              AGES 18-21
    
    
    1. Family celebration  1. Family celebration
    
    
    2. Go out to eat       2. Go out to eat
    
    
    3. Outdoor activities  3. Attend grandkids' event
    
    
    SOURCES: MetLife, Generations United
    
    
    TYPE AND AVERAGE AMOUNT OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROVIDED BY
    GRANDPARENTS TO GRANDCHILDREN, PAST FIVE YEARS
    
    
    Education (29%)                         $8,276
    
    
    Traditional savings fund/account (15%)  $4,600
    
    
    General support (33%)                   $3,987
    
    
    Car purchase (10%)                      $3,977
    
    
    Life event, such as graduation (21 %)   $2,008
    
    
    Clothing (43%)                            $990
    
    
    SOURCES: MetLife, Generations United

    Copyright:

    (c) 2012   EPM Communications, Inc.

    Originally Posted at InsuranceNewsNet on December 20, 2012 by N/A.

    Categories: Industry Articles
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