One in 50 parents spend over £10,000 supporting grown-up children in pandemic over three months

  • Half of parents have helped grown-up (aged 18+) children financially in the last three months by paying rent, letting them live rent-free at home and for phones, food and petrol
  • Parents financially helping their grown-up children spent £1,300 on average over three months
  • 2% (377,000) of parents of children aged 18+ say they have spent at least £10,000 helping them over three months

Research from pensions and retirement specialist LV= highlights how half of UK parents are spending thousands of pounds supporting adult children during the pandemic.

The LV= Wealth and Wellbeing Monitor* reveals that 50% of parents with children aged 18+ have spent on average nearly £1,300 over three months supporting their children.

Some 2% (377,000**) of parents of children 18+ say they have spent more than £10,000.

Parents are worried how the pandemic is disrupting the education, finances and employment prospects of their children age 18+. To support them, they are paying for a variety of expenses such as rent (6%), petrol, mobile phones or food (18%), laptops or computers to enable children to work/ study from home (5%), or are letting them move back home (6%).

The LV= Wealth and Wellbeing Monitor* - a quarterly survey of 4,000 UK consumers – shows:

  • 50% of parents with children aged 18+ are helping out their children financially, and have spent on average nearly £1,300 supporting their children.
  • 43% of parents with children over 30 are helping out their children financially and have spent on average nearly £1,600 over the last three months, and 2% say they have spent more than £10,000.
  • Older children (aged 30+) were less likely to receive support than those aged 18-30, but those older children that did receive help received a higher amount (as older children are likely to need support for bigger commitments such as house deposits and rent).

Mass affluent are spending more than average helping grown-up children

  • More than half (53%) of mass affluent parents – those with assets of between £100,000 and £500,000 excluding property – with children 18+ are helping them financially. They have spent on average nearly £1,800 supporting their grown-up children. One in ten has spent £2,000 or more with 3% spending £10,000 or more. They are helping to pay for day-to-day expenses (19%), paying into their children’s savings account, ISAs or pensions (8%) and paying rent (8%).
  • Mass affluent parents of 18-30 year olds are more likely to be paying into a savings account/ ISA/ pension to help their child (15% vs. 6% of all parents of 18-30 year olds).
 How parents have supported their children financially over three months
  Parent of child 18 or older Parent of child 18-30 Parent of child 30 or older  Mass affluent parent with children 18 or older
% who have spent money helping adult children  50%  61%  43%  53%
 Average amount spent  £1,297  £1,010  £1,579  £1,756

Parents worry about their adult children’s education and mental health

  • 39% of parents of university-aged children (18-21) worry about their education being disrupted and 26% worry about the subsequent impact on their exams
  • Parents also worry about their 18-21yr olds’ mental health - 28% fear their children are feeling isolated or depressed
  • 18-24-year-olds are more likely (36%) to feel isolated or lonely compared to the general population (26%)

Clive Bolton, Managing Director of Savings and Retirement at LV=, added:

“The covid pandemic is disrupting the education, employment prospects and finances of many young adults. It’s striking to see how this is affecting their parents and many are digging deep into their pocket to support their children.

“Younger adults are one of the groups most affected by the economic impact of lockdowns and nearly half of those aged 18-34 say their finances are worse than they were three months ago. This means that parental support is the only way many young people can afford to pay for expensive items such as rent, running a car or even house deposits.

“LV=’s research shows that parents are particularly worried about their children’s university education being severely disrupted and the impact this will have on their exams and subsequent employment prospects. Parents of university-age children also worry about their children’s mental health and fear lockdown has left them lonely, isolated and depressed.

“They are doing things such as encouraging adult children to move back home to live rent-free,  meeting their children’s day-to-day spending for items such as food, mobile phones and petrol and helping them with expensive item such as rent and house deposits.”

Notes to Editors

*LV= surveyed 4,000 nationally representative UK adults via an online omnibus conducted by Opinium in December 2020.

** Figure based on UK adult population of 52.6m

For further information please contact:

David Gwyer
Media Relations Manager – Life & Pensions
07798 796907
Candice South
Press Officer - Life & Pensions
07867 141547

About LV=

LV= is a leading financial mutual and serves over 1.3 million members with a range of financial products. When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products. We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs. 

LV= and Liverpool Victoria are registered trademarks of Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited and LV= and LV= Liverpool Victoria are trading styles of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited, registered in England with registration number 12383237 is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, register number 110035. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth, BH1 2NF.