A family walking along a beach path

Added commitments: some people need to support their parents and their children at the same time

More than 70 per cent of people are providing financial support to someone in their family, against a backdrop of shifting demographics and rising living costs.

Since 2000, average life expectancy across the world has risen by five years. While for many this is a change worth celebrating, for some it could result in the need for extra physical, emotional and financial assistance later in life. This is an important consideration for the 54 per cent of people worldwide who are providing their parents with regular financial support.

Some 50 per cent of those with grown-up children are providing them with financial support

People are also supporting their children for longer. Some 50 per cent of those with grown-up children are providing them with financial support, and almost half of these people are helping children aged 30 or over.

These findings come from The Power of Protection: Facing the future, a new report from HSBC, which is based on a survey of more than 13,000 people in 13 countries and territories worldwide.

The report reveals that the majority of people feel good about providing for their family and 61 per cent feel appreciated for the support they give. However, helping out can come at a cost, with some people cutting back on personal spending, taking on extra work, or even incurring debt to support their family. The commitment and impact can be particularly large for people who find themselves with competing priorities, and need to support their children and their own parents at the same time.

So it is perhaps surprising that relatively few have plans in place to help their families in the event that they stop being able to provide support.

Although almost three-quarters of people worldwide fear that their family would struggle if they had to significantly reduce their level of financial support, many people have no insurance in place. In addition, less than one-fifth of people globally have named a legal guardian for their dependants or drawn up a will.

Whatever their circumstances, everyone should have a financial plan. It can help them to balance competing priorities, achieve more of what they want to do in life and help their family become more financially secure in the future. Thinking about what is important in their life, understanding what they want to protect for the future, and seeking professional advice are important first steps to putting a plan in place.

Ultimately, making a plan can give people greater confidence in the future and the peace of mind to enjoy life today.

Note

To find out more about the Power of Protection report, read the related media release: The Financial Umbilical Cord: One in two parents still supporting children over 18.

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