UK parents can’t afford to lend money to their children

Disturbing figures reveal that a quarter of UK families with children under 16 have no savings at all, compared to a national average of 19%.

People in their late thirties and those who are divorced are also among the ones left most financially vulnerable as they bear the brunt of family responsibilities.

The numbers show that a quarter of Britons aged 35-44 years old have no savings at all, with 73% of these people saying they have no money available to save. Although they do have some savings, 39% of people who are divorced and living alone are currently failing to save anything at all, noticeably higher than the national average of 32%.

“Although these groups aren’t mutually exclusive, what we can discern from the research is that all the points in this ‘Risk Triangle’ have significant family responsibilities. We can see that family giving has risen exponentially, but this is clearly unsustainable.  It begs the question, that without taking steps to provide, how will they help their children in another five years through education or onto the property ladder?” commented Iain McGowan, Head of Savings and Investments at Scottish Widows.

According the latest Scottish Widows Savings & Investments Report, the average amount of money UK parents can afford to lend to their children is £12,846. This number has increased by almost a third since the financial downturn in the last five years.

A further trend shows that over half of Britons are saving for the short-term, or not at all.

Explaining this short-term attitude, Mr McGowan said: “We are increasingly seeing people fail to plan properly for the future. When a life stage – whether having children, buying a home or planning for retirement – is so far away, we tend to not take it into account, preferring to focus on the here and now instead. However not only is this misguided, this short-sightedness will cost the current generation dearly, and deliver a huge savings shock further down the line.”