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Sixty-two percent of grandparents have provided supplemental financial support to their grandchildren over the last five years, mostly for education and investments and at an average cost of $8,289 according to a recent study.

The study, Grandparents Investing in Grandchildren: The MetLife Study on How Grandparents Share Their Time. Values, and Money was conducted by the MetLife Mature Market Institute in conjunction with Generations United, a multi-generational advocacy organization.

Like most other unorthodox financial situations in the country today, depending on one’s grandparents for support is due to the enduring effects of the economic collapse four years ago coupled with medical advances that allow people to live longer.

Grandparents surveyed said that it was important that their grandchildren maintain their standard of living and 67 percent are optimistic that their grandchildren will live at least as well as they have. The 33 percent that have a dourer outlook chalk it up to external factors such as the economy, government and society.

The study found that many Americans are feeling weighted-down by the crawling economic recovery and high unemployment numbers that hover, seemingly stagnant, at around eight percent. With nowhere else to turn Americans are looking to their grandparents to act as a financial safety net, sometimes at the peril of their own financial health.