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Pensioners’ guilt at spending families’ inheritance not shared by younger generations

19 June 2019

A large percentage of pensioners feel guilty about spending money on themselves because of their family’s inheritance, according to new research from financial services provider OneFamily.

Three in 10 (29%) over-65s, the equivalent of 3.5 million people across the UK, worry about spending money because they are focused on inheritance, while more than one in five (22%) of those who experience spending guilt are holding back from spending on themselves.

Despite 96% of over-65s describing retirement as the ideal moment to make the most of their time, many rank others above themselves. Over half (52%) of over-65s believe they have a duty to financially support their younger relatives, with two in five (44%) having received an inheritance from their own parents. The vast majority (78%) of those surveyed said they would like to help their family become more financially secure, while 62% want to help their loved ones become homeowners.

However, younger generations do not share the same viewpoint, with as many as three in five (63%) admitting that they worry their relatives are holding themselves back to save money for their inheritance. An overwhelming 91% of adults say they would prefer their older relatives to spend all their money to enjoy their own life rather than leave an estate.

The research found that many retirees would like to give a ‘living inheritance’, whereby the wealth is given to loved ones whilst they can still see them benefit from the money.

Nici Audhlam-Gardiner, managing director of Lifetime Mortgages, OneFamily, said: “It’s natural for families to want to financially support their loved ones whatever their age, whether that’s by helping them to get on the property ladder or supporting them reaching other financial milestones. However, this needn’t come at the expense of their own enjoyment of their hard-earned wealth, particularly in later years. With most younger beneficiaries making it clear they would much rather relatives enjoy, over 65s should definitely not feel guilty about spending their money after years of hard work.”

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