Grandparents pass on their financial wisdom

The Momentum UK Team 01 October 2013

A new survey suggests that grandparents teach us valuable skills for later life, ranging from money management to gardening.

Research released today by Saga Life Insurance has revealed that 9 out of 10 grandparents try to pass on their values to their family, including their attitude to money. A quarter of over 50s also said that their grandparents taught them valuable skills.

The results varied regionally, with grandparents in the North East being the most likely to pass on skills to their grandchildren, and those in London being the least likely. As well as money management, grandparents reported teaching their young families a range of practical skills, such as gardening, cooking or baking and teaching them good manners. One in ten even said that they spend regular time with their great-grandchildren.

Somewhat predictably, it makes a difference whether grandparents are still in work or not. Half of retired grandparents say that they spend time passing on skills to their grandchildren, compared to just two fifths of grandparents who are still working. As older people continue to feel the pinch and continue to work for longer, children could be spending less time learning from their grandparents.

It’s not just advice that grandparents have been offering; the report also found that many help out with practical day to day matters. Almost half (44%) of grandparents help out with the school run, with 41% providing childcare for their grandchildren in the school holidays. This highlights the extent to which parents have become financially dependent on their own parents, due in part to rising childcare costs.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive of Saga Services, said:

“Not only are grandparents often providing childcare, but they are also teaching them skills that they can use for life. Whilst nothing can replace this emotional support and the teaching of life skills such as learning about money or doing a bit of DIY, there is also the financial impact of losing a grandparent.”

Ramsden went on to highlight the importance of sound financial planning, including considering life insurance, to reduce the financial impact on families when a grandparent dies.