Baby boomers keep Britain going

30-07-2008

Baby boomers keep Britain going
Baby boomers are keeping Britain on its feet, according to the latest Mintel research.

Not only does this group – usually defined as those born in the aftermath of World War II – support their own children well into adulthood (with 23 per cent regularly offering financial support to grown-up children), they often take care of their young grandchildren.

Indeed, seven per cent have now adult offspring living with them without any reciprocal financial assistance.

In addition baby boomers often do what they can to stay healthy, while also leading the way in ethical living.

"Children are hanging around for longer in their parent's home, so that many mums and dads are providing financial support for longer than they may have hoped," explained James McCoy, consumer research manager at Mintel.

"For some this can mean that they are forced to delay plans in other vital areas of retirement planning, for instance selling their home to release equity," he added.

Indeed baby boomers are also useful in a host of other areas.

Some 11 per cent of the over 50s in Britain often help grown up kids with domestic tasks such as cleaning and DIY, rising to 17 per cent amongst the 55 to 64-year-olds.

In addition, almost one in four (23 per cent) over 50 year olds find themselves playing babysitter to their grandchildren either when their sons or daughters are out for an evening or when they go to work.

"Over the past two decades, women are increasingly going back to work after having a baby," added Mr McCoy.

"This combined with the high cost of childcare means that more and more families have to look to the grandparents for support.

"Luckily, while this is an added responsibility, most grandparents undoubtedly relish the opportunity to spend time with their grandkids."

It is not all help for others, however. The Mintel research reveals almost all of the baby boomer generation (89 per cent) do things that help them to maintain their mental condition, while 78 per cent make an effort to stay fit.

The environment also comes in for consideration, with 82 per cent of over 55s recycling whenever possible.

Meanwhile, 37 per cent avoid air-freighted food, 31 per cent tend to buy fair trade food when it is available and the same proportion (31 per cent) try to buy from local shops instead of supermarkets.

All these are much higher than with younger generations.



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