28% of adults have never discussed their parents’ financial circumstances together

Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2019

Nearly a third (28%) of adults aged 30-55 have never discussed their parents’ financial circumstances as a family, equity release lender more 2 life has found.

Over a third (32%) of parents 55 and over said their children don’t know anything about their finances as they choose not to discuss financial matters with them.

Dave Harris, chief executive at more 2 life, said: “People’s personal finances are, well, personal, and the natural British reserve about discussing money matters means many families rarely or never discuss money matters.

 “However, with more of us living longer and using a wider range of assets to fund our retirement and care needs – including property wealth – adult children often play an important role in their parents’ financial thinking and decision-making.”

Just 7% of children aged 30-55 said their parents trust them to help them with their financial decisions and a further 7% said their parents made it very clear to them it is none of their business.

Adding to this, 17% of children said the only discussion they have ever had with their parents about their finances centred around what they might or might not inherit.

Harris added: “Family finances are more intertwined than ever as parents and grandparents try to help the younger generation while also making provisions for their own retirement and care.

“The aptly named squeezed middle may not have retired yet but are doing the best for their dependent children and parents while trying to build up their own nest egg – it’s a delicate and complex balancing act.

“Talking openly and honestly about these challenges and dreams – and how the family is positioned to meet them – could help each generation to achieve their wishes.”

When children aged 30-55 were asked what situation would prompt them to ask about their parent’s finances 30% said if they thought their parents were struggling to meet bill repayments or keep the heating on.

If their parents became seriously ill 26% of children said they would ask if they were running into financial trouble and 14% said they would be prompted to ask if their parents started buying things they previously couldn’t afford.

However, 24% said they would never ask any questions whatever the circumstances as it is none of their business.

Harris said: “The more we can encourage families to talk and feel comfortable discussing their finances together the more we can ensure holistic advice is taken.

“For example, we know the important role which families can play in supporting older relatives during their equity release journey.

“It has been proven that when families are involved in this process the vast majority feel positive and are able to appreciate the positive impact it has on their older family members.”

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