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90% of Boomers Help Support Adult Children

Mom will be happy to talk with you about money – but Dad is more likely to give it to you.

That’s one of the key findings in a new report from Ameriprise Financial that looks at how women and men tackle financial conversations and support family members.

The research is part of a larger study, “Money Across Generations II.” The latter updates a report the company published five years ago that looked at how three generations – baby boomers, their children and their parents – “perceive, talk about, and deal with money and financial issues.” This month, Ameriprise is focusing on the role that gender plays in family finances.

To start, more than nine out of 10 baby boomers – 95% of men and 92% of women – say they have provided financial support to their adult children.  But boomer fathers appear to be more likely than boomer mothers to write a check.

For instance, fathers are more likely than mothers to say they have helped their child buy an automobile (58% vs. 48%), or co-signed a loan or lease agreement (42% vs. 32%). Similarly, 51% of boomer fathers say they have helped a child pay for auto insurance, compared with 43% of mothers, and 37% of fathers have helped with car payments, compared with 29% of mothers.

On the other hand, women are more likely than men, according to Ameriprise, to engage in financial conversations.

For instance, boomer women are more likely than men to have regular conversations with relatives about finances (54% vs. 46%), health-care expenses (45% vs. 34%) and family issues (59% vs. 46%).

Boomer women are also more likely than men, the survey says, to talk with parents about finances and aging issues. For example, 62% of surveyed boomer women say they have talked with their parents about how the latter might pay for long-term-care expenses, compared with less than half (49%) of boomer men.

The good news: Both women and men today are more likely to discuss financial matters with their families than they were five years ago, the report concludes. That said, there remains a perception among baby boomers, according to Ameriprise, “that their parents are unwilling to discuss these issues, which may not be the case.”


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    • My son is taking my retirement away from me. I’ve set him up for the 3rd time now and it doesn’t look good. I’m 70 and will have to work another 3 years to get my house paid off before I can think of maybe trying to live on my SS alone. I am reluctant to admit maybe he needed counseling and i didn’t see it.

    • Children of the “Baby Boom” generation have been taught to be free with everything, including money. Unfortunately, they are also used to having everything done for them as well. The parents are enablers, but the children are also to blame for not seeing the problem this causes. I’m one of these of children; who is highly educated; and we are generating another generation (which is worse) of the same type of children. I’ve tried to not to cater to my child’s every whim; sometimes it’s hard; but I know how to say ‘NO’. I’ve even broke into a little song in the store (the NO song); yes it was evil, but effective. Sometimes saying NO is the most powerful tool in the arsenal.

    • “That’s because men of that generation still have all the money. Women still haven’t got the hint that they are being oppressed by the men they are living with, by not learning about money and fian”

      Men do not waste their time trying to oppress anyone. In this country anyone can succeed if they apply themselves.

      One of this countries biggest problems is the breakdown of the family unit which is what this country was built on. Women today who get married have the notion that what is yours is mine and what is mine is mine and end up divorced because of their attitude toward marriage. It’s takes a commitment to teamwork within a family to survive as a family in today’s world. Those who succeed at this usually have children who are more likely to also succeed and not need their parents help.

    • That’s because men of that generation still have all the money. Women still haven’t got the hint that they are being oppressed by the men they are living with, by not learning about money and fian

    • Generation X was smashed and there was nothing we could do. I was attending Ohio State ten years after the first graduation because there was nothing better to do and it was like the “unwanted reunion”. It seemed the everyone was back but nobody was happy for some odd reason. People kept telling us that we could get a job in the military but after Bush’s speeches about the Axis Of Evil, They Tried To Kill My Dad, and Wall Street Got Drunk. I wasn’t too interested helping the United States abuse Iraq. Do you know what it’s like to sit within Ohio State classrooms and the troops/rotc make noises like the dorks in high school but detention nor Saturday school cannot be allocated?

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  • Encore examines the changing nature of retirement, from new rules and guidelines for financial security to the shifting identities and priorities of today’s retirees. The blog also explores news that affects retirement, from the Wall Street Journal Digital Network and around the web. Lead bloggers are reporter Catey Hill and senior editor Jeremy Olshan. Other contributors include The Wall Street Journal’s retirement columnists Glenn Ruffenach and Anne Tergesen; the Director for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Alicia Munnell; and the Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, Michael Kitces, CFP.