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The Grandparent Dilemma

There have been quite a few discussions in the media this week on the upward trend of grandparent's funding their grand children's school fees, university education or in helping them get a foothold on the property ladder



Supposedly, grandparent's born after the war, sometimes better known as baby boomers due to the rise in population at that time, have fared way better financially over the years than following generations probably ever will.

Just by buying their own homes way back when, people have ended up with valuable assets as house prices increased rapidly over the decades.

Grandparents are stepping in with offers of help

So now, with parents struggling to cope with the ever spiralling financial demands placed upon them, many grandparents are stepping in with offers of help.

One couple put it quite simply: "We are in a position to help our families so why on earth would we stand by and watch our loved ones struggle when we can contribute to improving their quality of life?" They saw it as helping the family dynamic as a whole. The financial pressure would be lifted a little, thereby creating a more relaxed, stress free family environment for everyone. It makes perfect sense when you think of it that way.

Enjoyable retirement?

But not all families operate like this, with plenty of grandparent's viewing it very differently. Why work hard all your life to ensure an enjoyable retirement, only to hand your cash over to someone else?

In most cases grandparents play an incredibly important role within the family already, with many providing invaluable support in terms of childcare for working parents.

I can see both sides of the argument. It's obvious that close, loving families should help each other in any way they can, but there also has to be a line in the sand whereby it doesn't become expected for grandparent's to step in financially, in addition to the support they already give.

Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor

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