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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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