Grandparents Day: Boomers happy to invest thousands a year in their grandchildren

Kendra Galante

What would you do if you were retired and had a few thousand dollars to spend?

A recent study by TD Ameritrade found that rather than spending that money on a vacation or other passion, grandparents often invest it in their grandkids instead. And they're doing so happily.

  • Eight in 10 (81 percent) grandparents said that they provide financial support for their grandchildren; to the tune of $2,383, on average, in the past year.

  • In total, grandparents provide $253 billion each year in financial support and unpaid labor in their adult children and grandchildren.

  • Three in 10 millennial parents said they get help from "granny nannies." Millennials with parents who provide primary childcare receive 14.3 hours in unpaid labor per week, and those with parents providing back-up childcare receive 9.2 hours per week. This help with childcare and other unpaid labor can save parents up to $300 per week, not a small drop in the bucket. Considering that the average cost of full-time daycare for babies and toddlers topped $9,500 in 2016, surpassing the average price tag of in-state college tuition (about $9,400) it's easy to see why this non-financial support from grandparents can be a boon for a family's finances.

Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 10, 2017 — and is a great day to #DoSomethingGrand for them to recognize the ways in which they go above and beyond in supporting their kids and grandkids.

"Grandparents are investing significant time and resources in their grandchildren and have reported being more than happy to support their families," said Dara Luber, senior manager of retirement at TD Ameritrade. Luber reminds grandparents to keep the lines of financial communication open. "Kids and especially grandkids have many more years to earn and save money than grandparents do. Grandparents should make sure that their giving nature doesn't interfere too drastically with their golden years."

Image credit: Dreamstime