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Brits spending £10,339 a year supporting others

15th April 2011 Print

British adults spend on average £10,339 a year financially supporting their dependents, according to Scottish Provident's Financial Safety Net Report.

The study found that around 15.2 million British adults (31%) currently have people that rely on them financially, costing on average two fifths (39%) of their gross income. This amounts to £10,339 each year for the average earner.

Despite this, less than half (45%) of those financially responsible for others - for their children, their parents, siblings or a partner - have any form of life cover in place.  In fact, just one in five (21%) have critical illness cover, while only one in seven (14%) have an income protection product.

Susan Barclay, head of marketing at Scottish Provident, commented: "With such a high proportion of an earner's gross income spent on those that they care for, it is vital that financial providers are protected so their dependents also have a robust financial safety net in place. By not doing this they could be seriously risking their financial security as well as that of their dependents."

Of those who are financially supporting others, workers are financially providing across the generations - four per cent of British adults have a mother dependent on them for financial support, while three per cent have a father dependent on them.

Susan Barclay added: "There has been a rise in recent times of what is dubbed the ‘sandwich generation' - people who have both children and elderly parents financially reliant on them. Even children who have flown the nest may still need provision when it comes to accommodation and tuition fees, while they may also be paying nursing home fees for their parents and juggling their own bills into the mix.

"It is essential that earners understand the importance of taking out life cover, critical illness cover and income protection, and what this can provide for families when they are most at need financially. People should take time to speak to an IFA to evaluate what best suits their personal financial situation and protect their households accordingly."