More than half of over-65s ‘have emergency cash stash to help adult children’

More than half of over-65s are keeping a pot of emergency cash stashed away in case their adult children need the money, a survey has found.

While they may only have their pension to live on themselves, 58% of people in this age group have been diligently putting funds aside to support their middle-aged children through financial difficulties if needed, Saga Savings found.

On average, they have £11,500 squirrelled away to help out in case it is needed for an emergency.

Nearly one in 10 (9%) of over-65s said they have not told their children about the money they have put aside for them, the survey of more than 6,000 people aged over 50 found.

Perhaps one reason for keeping the emergency savings secret is that they do not trust what their child’s partner may do with the cash if they knew about it.

Nearly one in five (17%) of over-65s worried their child’s partner spent money irresponsibly.

Meanwhile, around one in 10 (11%) over-65s admit they do not trust their own children to tell the truth about how they would spend their money.

These savings pots often need to be cracked open, the research found.

Nearly half (49%) dip into their savings at least once or twice a year to help their adult children, up from 34% in a similar survey for Saga in 2012.

The research was commissioned to mark the launch of Saga’s EasyAccess Savings Account.

Jeff Bromage, managing director, Saga personal finance, said: “The over-65s really are the generous generation.”

He continued: “This research shows that children are having to ask for help more regularly now than they were six years ago, but it’s clear that parents are often more aware of the financial pressures their children are under than they let on.

“Communication is key as parents and grandparents are not only willing to help, they have put money aside to do so.”