Over 50s in the UK have spent more than £4.4 billion on cars for their kids and grandkids over the past five years, according to the latest research from over 50s experts SunLife.
SunLife’s new Life Well Spent report has revealed that 25% of over 50s – rising to 29% of retired over 50s – have given significant cash gifts to their family in the past five years.
Of those, 22% have given their loved ones money to buy a car – that’s over 1 in 20 of all over 50s. On average, this group has gifted more than £3,000 on average – that means that, across the UK, over 50s have spent more than £4.4 billion buying their families cars.
Overall, 1 in 4 over 50s have given significant cash gifts to family in the past five years. And while financial need is clearly a factor – almost 1 in 3 (29%) say they worry about how their children and grandchildren are coping financially – the research shows there is another driver at play: happiness. More than three quarters (78%) of those who gave their loved ones money to buy a car reported being happier as a result. In fact, over 50s are even prepared to sacrifice their own financial stability to help their kids.
Of those who have taken out equity release, 13% report spending some of the money on family gifts (an average of £4,043) and 7% on early inheritance (an average of £11,100). SunLife also asked those who haven’t taken out equity release – but would consider it – what they would spend it on if they did and found 15% would spend at least some of the money on family gifts (an average of £20,600) and 10% on financial support for family (an average of £38,808).
Mark Screeton, CEO at SunLife, said “When asked about their biggest financial concerns, more than a quarter (29%) of respondents said they were most worried about how their children and grandchildren are managing financially – rising to a third of retirees.”
“This suggests that ensuring loved ones are not struggling with money is a major factor in why so many over 50s are gifting cash to their families. 12% of those who release equity from their homes use at least some of the money to provide financial support to family.”
“However – there is another key driver here too – happiness. They say giving is better than receiving, and our report would support that. More than three quarters of those who have helped their children or grandchildren buy a car said doing so improved their overall happiness.”