Adults under financial strain from children and elderly parents

25 September 2007
Research from LV= has revealed that ‘midlife’ families, particularly those with both children and elderly parents, are under serious financial strain.

These families are collectively providing unpaid care and assistance worth an estimated £21 million solely for their elderly parents, according to the company.

And chief executive, Mike Rogers, warned: “We can expect the overall burden of paid and unpaid care to spiral over coming decades as life expectancy rises and the baby boomer generation ages.”

The ‘Cost of a Parent’ report, which will be launched today at the Labour Party Conference, appeals to the government to work closely with other stakeholders in order to address the issue of caring for the elderly.

Head of public affairs for Help the Aged, Mervyn Kohler, said: “The government must be firm about the standards of care and support for carers, and should commit to realistically reimbursing carers.”

The LV= report found that adult children give up more than 33 hours a month at an unpaid annual cost of £3,336. It also discovered that the average overall cost of caring for a parent over a ten-year period is £113,149.

One in eight UK adults has elderly parents or in-laws requiring care or assistance and, on average, adult children spend 432 hours a year caring for elderly parents. In addition, bringing up a child to the age of 21 can cost up to £180,000

“There is, therefore, an increasingly important role for financial providers to play in helping people to plan their family finances generally, and in particular their retirement funding,” said Mr Rogers. He suggested that flexible annuities and pensions, as well as equity release schemes, could help people to plan ahead.

A new report from Defaqto shows that, although people are not saving enough for retirement, there are still good opportunities for pension providers in the current environment.

It reveals that increased amounts can legitimately be transferred into pensions and that extra flexibility is now in place for individuals to help manage their pension contributions.

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