29% of people in the UK aged over 65 worry about spending money on themselves because they have their family’s inheritance on their minds, according to research from OneFamily.
This equates to 3.5 million people across the country.
The research found 22% of those who experience spending guilt are holding back from spending on themselves.
96% of over 65s say their retirement is the ideal moment to make the most of their time, but many rank others over themselves. Without other financial priorities, 25% say they would buy a new car and the same number would renovate their home, while 65% would take more regular holidays. However, 11% say their guilt stops them from spending on things like this which they consider ‘luxuries’.
OneFamily said these concerns stem from learned behaviour and tradition, with 52% of over 65s believing they have a duty to financially support their younger relatives. This is in part being driven by the fact they benefited from older relatives’ wealth, with 44% receiving an inheritance from their parents.
With rising living costs and slow wage growth affecting younger generations, 78% of over 65s would like to help their family become more financially secure. 62% specifically say they want to help their loved ones become homeowners.
However, OneFamily said these feelings of obligation are at odds with attitudes of younger family members, with 63% admitting they worry that their relatives are holding themselves back to save money for their inheritance. 91% of adults say they would prefer their older relatives to spend all of their money to enjoy their own life rather than leave an estate.
Regardless, 80% over 65s plan to pass on their wealth to their loved ones with 23% already knowing exactly how much they plan to leave – and many are willing to cut back on their own plans to ensure they can do so.
Many retirees would like to give a ‘living inheritance’, whereby the wealth is given to loved ones whilst they can see them benefit from the money. Gifting family members money is now one of the most popular uses for equity release with 30% of older homeowners saying they would use the money tied up in their home to help their family or make the most of their later years.
Nici Audhlam-Gardiner, managing director of lifetime mortgages at OneFamily, said: “It’s natural for families to want to financially support their loved ones whatever their age, whether that’s by helping them to get on the property ladder or supporting them reaching other financial milestones. However, this needn’t come at the expense of their own enjoyment of their hard-earned wealth, particularly in later years.
“With most younger beneficiaries making it clear they would much rather relatives enjoy, over 65s should definitely not feel guilty about spending their money after years of hard work.
“When it comes to financial planning for retirement or providing a living inheritance, a lifetime mortgage is one of the options available to older homeowners. This allows them to access the wealth tied up in their home to spend on whatever they please, be that helping out younger family members financially or enjoying life’s little luxuries.”