About two-thirds of U.S. grandparents have helped support their grandchildren financially during the past 5 years, researchers report.
Grandparents gave an average of $8,661, or a total of almost $371 billion, to help support their grandkids over that period, according to the MetLife Mature Market Institute, a unit of MetLife Inc., New York.
Institute researchers hired a firm to poll 1,077 U.S. adults ages 45 and older who have grandchildren ages 25 or younger.
About 40% of the financial support participants gave was for general purposes and 26% for education, institute researchers report.
The institute’s 2009 Grandparents Poll found that grandparents would rather help their children and grandchildren while they are alive, rather than leaving a lump sum in a will.
The economic downturn has caused 25% of the participating grandparents to increase the financial help they are giving to their grandchildren. Those with lower incomes and lower net worth are giving a higher percentage than they did before the most recent economic downturn, with 22% reporting that their generosity has hurt their own financial situation.