Earlier this year we undertook research at Hodge to better understand family finances. Interviewing over 3,000 consumers, our research uncovered a real desire and willingness to put family first along with supporting them financially, particularly from those nearing retirement.
The research speaks for itself:
- 78% say family is the most important thing in their life
- More than half (53%) get pleasure from helping family members with money if they need it and three-quarters (75%) say they also get pleasure from helping the family with non-financial support
- 55% say they don’t feel pressured into helping family members with money if they need it
The focus on ‘family at all costs’ however, is evidently impacting financial wellbeing and at a time when the likes of those nearing retirement should be enjoying a new-found freedom, both personally and financially.
Our research found those aged 55+ have the lowest expectations of their life improving in the future. Despite the many opportunities typically available to someone aged 55 or over, only 24% expected their life to improve, compared to 73% in the 18-34 bracket and 47% of those aged 35-54. One in five closest to retirement felt that life would generally get worse and expected their standard of living to drop. When you consider that retirement should be a time of optimism and freedom, this is a sad statistic.
As an industry we’ve long acknowledged the Bank of Mum and Dad, or even Grandma and Grandad as one of the UK’s biggest lenders, but have we considered the impact on the personal finances and wellbeing of those lending, particularly when they are nearing retirement?
Our research clearly shows there is much focus on helping out family, but equally demonstrates that those lending are not necessarily in a financial position to help without sacrificing some of their own happiness and plans in later life.
A greater awareness of retirement options and products along with taking a holistic view of finances could lead to improved future life satisfaction, highlighting possibilities that may ordinarily remain unknown. At Hodge, we specialise in providing a range of mortgages for the over 50’s, with a dedicated Business Development team and Underwriters on hand to help. We pride ourselves on our personal service, offering the human touch and helping you to help your clients in ways they may not have even considered.
Professional advice could allow this super-generous group to achieve even more financially, both for themselves and for their families. Our challenge as financial providers and advisers is to convince them as early as possible of the benefits of saving and planning for later life and to make them aware of all of the products available. Our role is to get them and their wider families talking about money without discomfort and to give them control of their money, while retaining the ability to gift to younger generations.