According to a new report, 78 per cent cannot put money away for their offspring, who face high property prices and university fees in the years to come. Instead, parents said they were simply "crossing their fingers for something to turn up".
The poll, by think tank Demos, also found that three quarters were "irrationally" optimistic about the size of their nest egg, with a large number underestimating the costs faced not only by their kids but for their own potential future healthcare bills.
Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 37 per cent believed high education would be the biggest future cost, while 31 per cent said helping their children onto the property ladder would be the major dent in their nest egg.
However, only 19 per cent felt that the cost of their own care in old age would become a priority, despite estimations suggesting nursing care could swallow half an adult's life savings.
According to the Daily Mail, Claudia Wood, author of the report, said: "Britain's middle-earners might think they're getting by, but many aren't saving enough or putting enough into their pension, instead crossing their fingers and hoping something will turn up."
Ms Wood added that while middle-income families are "resilient" and were more likely to work hard than rely on Government handouts, "they must be given the right information about what failing to save will mean for them in later life".
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