Here’s How Much Boomers Are Giving Their Kids

Here’s How Much Boomers Are Giving Their Kids

By Beth Braverman

Money has always tended to flow from parents or grandparents to children and grandchildren, whether it’s as outright gifts, help with living expenses or paying for things like school. But the pace of that inter-generational transfer of wealth has picked up in recent years — and it could be threatening the retirement prospects of some baby boomers, according to a new report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

The report finds that the number of cash transfers going from older households to younger family members increased from 1998 to 2010. High-income households are more likely to provide support to their adult children, but middle- and low-income families are also providing cash to younger family members. Overall, from 2008 to 2010, households of adults aged 50 to 64 gave an average of $8,350 to younger family members, and households age 85 and older gave $4,787 to younger family members.

“For older households, cash transfers can reduce their retirement assets, raising concerns about retirement security, particularly for low-income groups,” EBRI research associate Sudipto Banerjee said in a statement.

Related: Sandwich Generation Squeezed Once Again

In just 5 percent of families, wealth is passed from the younger generation to the older, and the amounts are far smaller. During the same period, households age 85 and older received an average of $359 from those in younger generations.

The EBRI numbers confirm a trend highlighted in other recent reports. A 2013 Pew study found that about half of adults ages 40 to 59 have provided some financial support to at least one grown child in the past year, with more than a quarter of them providing the primary support.

Obviously, the economic climate of recent years may be a big reason for the increased cash flowing from parents to their grown children. More than half of parents of millennials think that it is harder for today’s young adults to live within their means than it was for them, according to an April Bank of America survey.

Chart of the Day: Long Way to Go on Coronavirus Testing

Healthcare workers with ChristianaCare test people with symptoms of the coronavirus in a drive-thru in the parking lot of Chase
Jennifer Corbett
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.

After Spending $2 Billion, Air Force Bails Out on Planned Upgrades of B-2 Bombers

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber flies over the Missouri Sky after taking off from the Whiteman Air For..
© Hyungwon Kang / Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.

Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”

Big Hurdle for Sanders’ Plan to Cancel Student Debt

Chip East / REUTERS
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.  

The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”

Number of the Day: $7 Million

NY mayor cites climate stance in endorsing Obama
By The Fiscal Times Staff

That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”