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Helping to Build and Rebuild Secure Lives and Futures: Intergenerational Financial Transfers from Parents to Adult Children and Grandchildren

  • Jenny Ploeg
  • Lori Campbell
  • Margaret Denton
  • Anju Joshi
  • Sharon Davies
Registered author(s):

    This paper explores one form of intergenerational exchange, that of financial transfers from parents to adult children and grandchildren. Research on intergenerational financial transfers has been sparse, and little is known about the perceptions of older people themselves related to such transfers. Survey data from a convenience sample of older Canadians was analyzed to determine the type of financial assistance older persons provide to their adult children and grandchildren, what motivates them to provide this assistance, and the meanings such transfers hold for the older persons themselves. Findings from the study are discussed within a life course perspective. An overarching theme that emerges from this study reflects the desire of older parents to help their children and grandchildren 'build or rebuild secure lives and futures'. Other reasons for providing such financial assistance are discussed under the themes: family love or commitment; "they need it and I can help"; family history of assistance; and passing on an early inheritance.

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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/sedap/p/sedap96.pdf
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    Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers with number 96.

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    Length: 44 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:96
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    1. McGarry, K. & Schoeni, R.F., 1995. "Transfer Behavior With the Family: Results from the Asset and Health Dynamics Survey," Papers 95-09, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    2. Wolfgang HÄRDLE & J. MARRON & L. YANG, 1996. "Discussion," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1996,65, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    3. Lee Lillard & Robert Willis, 1997. "Motives for interqenerational transfers: Evidence from Malaysia," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 115-134, February.
    4. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
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