Over 50s have come under increasing pressure to help out their families financially during the Covid-19 pandemic, new research from OneFamily found.
Since the start of the pandemic, one in four (25%) over 50s have provided financial support to family members, lending on average £1,298 per person. In total, over-50s have lent £8.2 billion, with under 30s worst hit financially.
However, over two fifths (44%) of individuals who lent money to relatives during the crisis admitted it had put a strain on finances, with a fifth (21%) having felt under pressure to offer financial assistance. Over half (53%) dipped into their savings accounts, while 37% used their current accounts and 5% turned to credit cards to access money.
The research found that a fall in income was the leading reason behind offering financial assistance (34%), followed by furlough (18%) and job loss (14%).
Iain Clarke, director of lending and insurance at OneFamily, said: “When we think about the pandemic’s financial effects, we think of the Millennials, who have been some of the most severely impacted. However, as our research shows, the over 50s have felt a great pressure to support their families too.
“The past year has had a great impact on everyone’s lives, and even if the country is expected to start recovering economically from the pandemic’s effects, the strain on people’s finances is still expected to be felt for the months to come.
“Our research suggests that people are taking out credit, dipping into their ISAs and even selling belongings to support their families through these tough times. Financial advice is going to be absolutely crucial for people so that they can find the right product for their needs.”
Clarke added: “Options such as releasing the wealth that’s tied up in their property might be one solution – allowing a living inheritance at the time when family members are most in need, without impacting on day-to-day finances.”