Nearly two-thirds of grandparents have financially supported their grandchildren in the past five years, a report released in September from the MetLife Mature Market Institute found. On average, grandparents contributed $8,289 over that time period to their grandchildren, and 15% have given more than $10,000.
While 43% of grandparents surveyed said they are helping to support their grandchildren because of the recession, 34% say that help is hurting their own financial health.
The most common type of support was simply handing over cash, the report, “Grandparents Investing in Grandchildren,” found. Eighty-two percent of grandparents give cash, and 62% give gifts. The study found 18% of grandparents give their grandchildren financial products.
For many grandparents, their support is going toward basic needs like clothing (43%); general support (33%), which MetLife says could include housing and food costs; and education (29%).
Grandparents also support their grandchildren through hands-on care. The study found 13% of grandparents provide regular care for their grandkids. Of those, almost a third said they baby-sit at least five days a week and 15% say they are raising their grandchildren. MetLife noted that grandparents under 65 are more likely to say they provide care, likely because younger grandparents have younger grandchildren who need more care.