June 26, 2012 Posted by: Liann Walborsky
When I graduated from college in the late 1980s, I was pretty much on my own financially. My parents, raised in the 1940s and 1950s, expected me to get a job and pay my own rent. Their feeling was that they had shouldered the cost of my education and first 22 years of life – now it was my turn.
How things have changed. According to a recent study performed by Ameriprise Financial, money is handled much differently when it comes to the children of baby boomers. And, while women are more likely to feel comfortable talking about money and healthcare, men are more willing to actually open up their wallets and dole out the cash. Surprise, surprise — women and men approach and deal with these difficult topics differently — especially when it comes to helping their adult children and aging parents.
Virtually all (93%) of boomers report helping their adult children financially, however, when it comes to specific expenses, fathers are more likely than mothers to take on certain costs. For example, 58% of men stated that they have co-signed a loan for an adult child (versus 48% of women). Fathers also appear more likely to pay for their children’s car insurance and car payments. Mothers trend more towards saving for their own retirement rather than providing financial help to their adult children.
This attitude towards retirement is also reflected in women’s outlook when it comes to their financial future. Fewer women than men feel “very optimistic” about their golden years or that they will attain their ultimate financial goals.
How does this trickle down to the kids? With mothers reporting that they are more likely to discuss financial matters with their daughters, no shocker here that their female offspring tend to feel less optimistic about their finances than sons. In general, daughters may be feeling more financial pressure when it comes to supporting themselves and their families in the current economy. Again, along gender lines, more Gen X and Y women are working to reduce debt as opposed to their male counterparts.
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