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Over-65s 'owed £3,000 by children'

Published 02/07/2015

Millions of over-65s are helping out their grown up children with loans, a survey has found
Millions of over-65s are helping out their grown up children with loans, a survey has found

Nearly one in four people aged over 65 years old are owed money by their adult children, a study has found.

Some 23% of over-65s said their grown up children are still in debt to them, with the average amount outstanding put at £3,100, financial services provider MetLife found.

One in 10 retired people who had lent money to their children said the outstanding debt came to more than £5,000.

The survey found that older people's generosity went further than just lending money - as one in eight (12%) over-65s surveyed said that they still had adult children living with them or wider family, such as grandchildren.

Across Britain, people living in the North East of England were the most likely to say their adult child still owed them money, with more than one in three (36%) people there saying this.

In Scotland, one in five (20%) over-65s said their children still owed them cash. In Wales, the figure was 4%, although researchers cautioned that the survey sample size in Wales had been particularly small.

Within England, people living in the South West were the least likely to say that their adult children owed them money, with 12% saying they were owed some cash.

The research comes at a time when many older people have been handed new freedoms over how they use their retirement cash. From April, people aged 55 and over with a defined contribution (DC) pension have been given the flexibility to take their pension pot how they wish, subject to tax, rather than being required to by an income with it called an annuity.

Dominic Grinstead, managing director of MetLife UK, said: "Being able to lend adult children money is important to millions of retired people and many can definitely afford to do so and are happy to pay out.

"But the fact that so many are helping out adult children demonstrates that people need flexibility in their finances in order to be able to fund potential financial surprises."

More than 1,000 retired people took part in the research.

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