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Tapping into the bank of Mum and Dad

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One of the best-kept secrets, according to a story in the Daily Mail on the 27th of November, is the stash of savings kept by the majority of elderly parents in case their children need the money.

The newspaper revealed the results of a survey suggesting that more than half of all over-65-olds kept such savings – amounting to a combined total of some £11billion – but that as many as one in ten of them were keeping it a secret from their children.

Around three-quarters of all parents over the age of 65 continue to believe they owe a degree of financial support to their children. Among those who are stashing away a secret fund, the average value of those savings is £11,500.

Justifying the level of secrecy, one in six parents said that they worried their children might be financially less responsible if they knew of the hidden stash, while one in five believed that their child’s spouse or partner was likely to spend money irresponsibly.

Nearly 60% of parents believe that their children face greater financial hardships than they did when they were their age.

When a similar survey was conducted in 2012, some 34% of parents in this age-group dipped into their savings to help their children at least once or twice a year. That proportion has now grown to around 50%.

In an article on the 7th of December 2018, we described the importance and value of the bank of Mum and Dad to many younger first-time buyers.