More than one in four generous Britons aged 55 and over have given financial support to their child or someone else to help them buy their own property, a survey has found.
Some 27% of over-55s said they have done this - despite one in six (15%) of those who have supported someone else saying they are "not at all" financially comfortable themselves - the research from credit checking company Experian found.
The findings also underline how property prices have surged and the challenge to raise a deposit has grown tougher in recent decades.
Three in five (60%) over-55s who have owned their own home said they paid £20,000 or less for the first property they bought - compared with an average UK house price now of around 10 times this, at around £200,000.
And 41% of over-55s who paid a deposit on their home only needed to put down £1,000 or less towards their first property.
One in 10 (10%) people in this age group said they paid for their first home without a deposit and nearly half (44%) of home owners aged over 55 had managed to get on the property ladder between the ages of 20 and 25 years old.
Separate data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders' (CML) shows the average first-time buyer now is aged around 30 years old.
Clive Lawson, managing director at Experian, said: "As parents, we all want the best for our children. However, it appears that some older people could be over-stretching themselves to help others buy their own home.
"Money can be a significant cause of stress for older people, with many concerned about running out of money in retirement, as well as mounting bills and lack of disposable income.
"While done with the best of intentions, if you do plan to support your children to buy a property, it's important you do so understanding the implications, and that this doesn't jeopardise your own financial wellbeing later in life."
More than 1,800 people aged 55 and over took part in the research.
Here are some tips from Experian for over-55s considering giving support to others:
:: Know what you can afford. If you do choose to borrow or lend money, make sure you can afford to, bearing in mind that your disposable income may reduce when you retire. If you take out credit, make sure you'll be able to afford to repay what you owe on time and in full each month.
:: If you are choosing to lend money to a family member, ensure you have the flexibility in your finances to do so and that your own financial wellbeing will not suffer as a result.
:: If you act as guarantor for someone else, your credit report will generally be taken into account by the lender. This can also create a "financial association" between you and the person for whom you are acting as guarantor, so your credit reports would become linked. This means your information could be taken into account by a lender if the other person applies for credit in the future and vice versa.