50-something mums bankrolling adult children

Updated: 
Woman drinking coffeeWomen in their 50s are being forced to delay retirement because they are bailing out their grown-up children, a new report reveals.

The study from the pensions firm Friends Life shows that a massive 93% of working mothers "have supported their adult children in some way" due to the financial pressures facing Britons in their 20s and 30s at the moment.

On average, a working mother in her 50s has given £1,710 to each of her grown-up children over the past year. If she has four adult offspring, this means her total bill was nearly £7,000 over the past 12 months.

And this is forcing these women to stay in work longer than they had planned to, with just 14% of 50-something women going ahead with their original retirement plans.

Friends Life director Jo Cann said: "With property prices still way above their long-term average, tuition fees set to increase and youth unemployment high, the pressure on older working women to support their adult children will not abate."

Supporting adult children is not the only reason more and more women are working for longer, though. The forthcoming increase in the State pension age is also a factor.

At present, a woman can start claiming her state pension just after her 60th birthday, but this will be increased to 66 by 2020.

Older Britons are not necessarily happy with these changes, however. A recent report from over-50s specialists Saga indicated that people over the age of 50 are "less happy" than they were last year.

Dr Ros Altmann, Saga's director general, described the findings as "grim", and warned that they offer a "bleak" picture of the lives of Britain's older population.

"People sometimes paint the older generation as 'the lucky ones', with few problems than others. The evidence does not support this view," she said.

SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT