Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Greedy, Grasping Children -- and, No, We're Not Talking About Baby Boomers

Depressing news for Baby Boomers in Great Britain... Let's hope this trend doesn't cross the Atlantic!

Here in the States, Boomer parents are accustomed to the idea of their adult children living at home. Other than their predilection for raiding the fridge and forgetting to turn out the lights, the offspring don't cost a lot of cash out of pocket.

In the UK, the little moochers are digging deeper into their parents' pockets, putting their empty-nester and retirement dreams at risk. A recent Skandia Insurance study finds that 59 percent of British parents "are still expected to give financial support to adult children ... while 89 per cent will sacrifice their own financial situation in order to meet their children's expectations."

According to the Skandia research, one in ten parents aged 50 to 65 are expected to contribute towards the cost of buying their children's first home, while 15 per cent anticipate being asked to fund their child's wedding.

Says Michelle Cracknell, strategy director at Skandia: "Whilst many parents now in their 50s and 60s may have planned to cut the financial purse strings to their off-spring by now so they can fund their own lifestyle, changing demographics and the cost of living mean that, for many, this has not been the case."

Wow. And we thought American Boomers raised demanding children.

Continues the report: The most common way for parents to meet their children's expectations is to raid their own savings (48 per cent), followed by making personal sacrifices on their own lifestyle (42 per cent). The situation is worst in London, where children of Boomer parents have highest expectations from their children. One in four Boomers say their children see them as a source of unlimited funds (24 per cent), compared to just 17 per cent in the rest of the country.

Meet their childrens' expectations? Sounds like these greedy progeny are unconcerned about their parents' well being -- and the parents are a bit resentful. Sounds like some Brit Boomers never learned to say, "No," to their kids. I would hope that Americans would display a little more backbone about indulging their little darlings, but I'm not confident that a similar poll here would show any big differences.


Anonymous said...

That's simply nuts. Tell 'em no... then again, I never had a possibility of help, and learned to deal on my own. My kids are going to learn no (but hey - they're still little - 7 and under so we'll see when they get older).

Groveton said...

My grandfather thought my Dad's generation was lazy. My Dad thought my generation was greedy. Now, the new generation is gutless?

Cathy Warren said...

So important that we teach our children how to make their own way. Financial support is OK to a point, but what happens when they just don't get it. They need to learn how to handle money and credit wisely starting at a young age. Credit cards get so many young people in trouble before they reach age 25 that they have to move home to afford the payments and maybe student loan payments. Keep an eye on your young adults credit and help them create a budget and focus on saving right away. They need to understand the consequences of over spending and not saving, how can we expect them to be able to live out on their own if they are not financially savvy.

Cathy Warren


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