Which Parent is More Likely to Hand Over Cash to Grown Children?

ParentingJune 18, 2012

By Sheryl Nance-Nash

Your mother is more likely to have a good sit down chat with you about money, but it's dad who can be more likely to dole out the cash - for certain things. So says a recent study, Money Across Generations II, released by Ameriprise Financial.

There are significant differences in how American men and women approach money matters, especially when it comes to their grown kids.

7 Reasons Why Your Teenager Should Start A Business This Summer

A vast majority, 93%, of baby boomers say they've provided financial support to their adult children, but fathers are significantly more likely than mothers to have helped by putting up cash for a car (58% versus to 48%), or co-signed a loan or lease agreement (42% vs 32%). Similarly, the survey showed that men are more likely than women to have paid for their grown kid's car insurance (51 percent versus 43 percent), or helped with car payments (37 percent versus 29 percent). More boomer fathers than mothers say they would help their child buy a car or pay off credit card debt than say they'd continue contributing to their own retirement savings.

However, when it comes time to talk, it's all about mom. Boomer women are significantly more likely than men to report having regular conversations with their relatives about finances (54 percent versus 46 percent), healthcare costs (45 percent versus 34 percent), and family issues (59 percent versus 46 percent). Boomer women seem to be breaking tradition - two-thirds of their daughters say they regularly discuss money with their families, compared to 59 percent of their sons.

Are Millennials Too Poor To Procreate?

"Women really do tend to do more of the talking about money matters - with both their parents and their children - while men are more likely than women to hand over the cash to help family members, says Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at Ameriprise Financial.
"Whether or not female or male family members from every family fit into these roles - the talkers or the helpers, the truth is, that the financial role that a family member plays can affect the way he or she communicates," says de Baca.

What was shocking, she adds, was how strongly Boomers' support for family members follows stereotypical gender roles. "For instance, the numbers show that fathers are more likely to have helped their children buy a car and pay for car insurance. It seemed as though these men learned from their 'silent generation' fathers, who were also more likely to help their children purchase the same kinds of things."

What Your Spouse Isn't Telling You -- America's Financial Infidelity Crisis

What's the bottom line? "Couples and entire families should absolutely be talking about finances with each other, especially if money is exchanging hands. People of different genders and ages think about things differently, and multi-generational families can be very diverse. Having regular, open conversations with your spouse or partner, as well as your extended family, can help ensure the decisions you're making are the right ones - for everyone involved," says de Baca.
She offers the following advice.

Don't be afraid of the tough stuff. "It's absolutely fair for a baby boomer parent to ask their college-aged child what his or her plan is to pay back their student loans, or to ask their aging parents how they plan to pay for healthcare and if they anticipate needing help."

Millennials Struggle To Create Social Change And Pay The Bills

Create a written financial plan. That plan should integrate the support the couple is providing, or would like to provide to family members. Documenting financial arrangements can help clarify the type, and level of support they're giving to family, and will provide a written record to go back to in future conversations.

Get help if needed. For sure it can get emotional when families talk money. If your crew is prone to drama, consider getting a third party, like a financial professional to help sort out your game plan in an objective, unemotional way.

More on Forbes.com
7 Reasons Why Your Teenager Should Start A Business This Summer
Are Millennials Too Poor To Procreate?
Millennials Struggle To Create Social Change And Pay The Bills
5 Things Newlyweds Should Do With All That Wedding Loot
What Your Spouse Isn't Telling You -- America's Financial Infidelity Crisis

Which parent is more likely to dole out the cash?
Which parent is more likely to dole out the cash?

Meet the Trailblazing Ladies of Science

Artists Are Taking Over Gucci for 24 Hours

Reach Your Potential With Capella

Choose from over 50 degree programs and 50 certificate programs built to help you achieve your academic goals. Apply today!

Impressive Driving Range

Go the distance in America’s longest-lasting pickups with an impressive driving range and capability to spare.

Need renters insurance? Get your quote here.

Amica Insurance offers renters discounts, plus the industry’s best service. Protect your possessions and get 24/7 support. Click for a free quote.

2016 Dodge Trucks

See what's new for Dodge for 2016! Search for dodge truck deals.

2016 Mortgage Rates Take Huge Dip - 3.04% APR

Rates now at 3.04% APR - $250K mortgage for $1054/mo. Process is easy & quotes are free! (3.04% APR 5/1 ARM). Calculate new payment now.

Cher Fans Mourning

Cher fans were upset over the confusing hashtag mix-up that occurred on Twitter.