Over-55s in Yorkshire have contributed a staggering £2.3bn to support their children and grandchildren get along in life, according to new figures.
One is six people aged over 55 in the region provide financial help to raise young children, said the survey by the Equity Release Council.
Across the region, the value of this inter-family lending and gifting from over-55s in 2014 amounted to £2.3bn – with almost £1bn of the amount going towards the costs involved in younger family members buying their own homes.
Overall, the council found that nearly one in six over-55s in Yorkshire have used the wealth in their house to support family members financially – either through equity release, remortgaging or downsizing their property.
Dipping into savings, inheritance or pension income is the most common way of generating funds for family giving, with 45% of over-55s having done so. However, 15% have delayed their retirement while 13% have taken on extra paid work in the region.
Nearly one in six (14%) have significantly reduced their spending on luxuries to free up money for family members while 8% have significantly reduced their day-to-day essential spending on items such as food and heating.
More than one in three over-55s in Yorkshire believe their family would struggle for money without the financial support they give them. And 44% feel they still have a responsibility to offer financial help to their children even when they have grown up.
However, 16% cannot afford to offer their children or grandchildren any financial support without falling into difficulties themselves.
Nigel Waterson, chairman of the Equity Release Council, said: “Economic pressures have caused a spike in demand for help from the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ in Yorkshire and Humberside.”
He added: “It is no wonder that a climate of rising house prices and low wages leaves many of the older generation with a sense of responsibility for their family’s financial fortunes, even after their children have reached adulthood.
“Many over-55s will go to considerable lengths to ease the pressure that younger relatives now face – even if their personal circumstances suffer as a result.”