Parents and children are relying on financial support from each other, according to the latest findings from a SunLife’s report. The research shows that while one in six (17%) 55-65s are expecting to be supported financially by their grown up kids when they retire, one in five (19%) adult children are relying on inheritance from their parents (up from 17% last year). Furthermore, one in ten grown up children are relying on this inheritance so much that they think their parents are spending too much of it.

The research also finds that this financial ‘tug of war’ is affecting many people’s lives now, with a fifth of 18-34s are providing financial support to their parents, while one in seven 55-65 year olds are providing financial support to grown up children no longer in education. However,  80% of the 18-34s who are finically supporting their older parents are finding it a struggle, with half of those saying it is a constant struggle, less than two thirds (63%) of the 55-65s who support adult children find it a struggle, and only one in seven of those find it a constant struggle.

This may be explained by the fact that, as a percentage of income, older people are better off than younger generations; those age 55-65 have 37% of their income allocated to fixed costs, compared to 39% for 18-34 year olds.

Ian Atkinson, Head of brand at SunLife comments: “We’re seeing an older generation with high home ownership spending their savings, investments and income on enjoying the best years of their life, knowing they can still leave their home as a legacy. It’s not really fair to call them ‘SKIers’ (Spending Kid’s Inheritance) – it’s their money in the first place, and perhaps it’s only right that, when they’re reaching an age of more free time and fewer responsibilities, they’re using that money to fulfil some lifelong ambitions.”