The joy of being able to help the kids

This morning I’m basking in the joy of approving two loan deals from the bank of Dad and the truth is I’m happy these loans won’t be paid back.  Compared to the support many parents give mine is very modest but, I like to think, well targeted and timely.

About four months ago my oldest daughter had what could have been a serious car accident in the old and somewhat, unsafe car she’d bought with the limited funds she had.  Fortunately she walked away unscathed, despite the fact her airbag didn’t work.  At that point I vowed to help when it came to buying a new one. 

Last week we spent a morning visiting a few car dealers and she instantly fell in love with the first one she viewed, a Mazda M2.  This weekend she bought it and it’s been a real pleasure to see the joy on her face and know what difference it makes just to have a reliable car after the one she’d been borrowing for the last few months had broken down.

The younger daughter, with her boyfriend, have been working hard to save for a deposit to buy a home of their own for some years, they’re renting now from a family friend.  Her determination to save, the stability and longevity of her relationship and the willingness to go without things is exemplary.  

My support will enable them to start looking for a new home this year rather than next.   I can’t wait to help them look round a few properities and it will be even nicer to see them settled together in their new home.  Getting on the property ladder will make a huge difference to their lives.

I worried for a while whether I could really afford it.  When your income is declining and you’ve got no idea how long you’re going to live you can never be sure how long your savings need to last.   It’s one of the reasons why I’m not bothering buying myself a new car anytime soon.  I did myself a lifetime cash-flow which did reassure me so I went and I feel good.

I’m, of course. far from the only retiree in this situation,  these days with house prices and desposits so high parents are now among the biggest ‘lenders’ in the UK, a survey suggests. Collectively this amounts to £6.3bn, high enough to rank the bank of mum and dad 10th if it was a mortgage lender.

L&G’s the financial services firm who carried out the research, based on a poll of 1,600 parents, found more than half were using cash, which is the lucky position I’m in, but others were withdrawing money from their pensions or said they would consider using equity release from their homes.

A quarter of those surveyed were not confident they had enough money to last through their retirement.   Meanwhile, 15% said they had already accepted a lower standard of living due to helping out their children.

Chris Knight, chief executive of L&G’s retail retirement division, said retirees had “a vast range of considerations” to take into account when deciding whether to help out, including “setting aside funds for any future care needs they may have.  Many are using their pensions and savings to help out and unfortunately this could be leaving some facing a poorer retirement,”

Despite the uncertainty of retirement planning, like me for the difference it makes and the joy it gives makes most of us feel it’s a risk worth taking.

Published by brianjonesdiary

Dad, husband, brother and son. Interested in travel, politics, sport, health and much more. Semi-retired and aiming to making the most of life as I approach my sixth decade.

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