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