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Family generations and financial pressures 2014

Family Generations & Financial Pressures, is the first of thee 2014 reports from the Scottish Widows Centre for the Modern Family (CMF), which examines modern family life and how the UK family is changing.

Family Generations and Financial Pressures identifies where, precisely, such pressures are biting hardest. Uniquely, it also charts the way in which these financial realities are altering family relationships. Each generation of the modern family is affected in different ways; so too are the relationships between these generations.

Families support each other in many different ways. Family Generations and Financial Pressures illustrates that while family financial support is significant for many families, other forms of help, including practical support, advice and guidance, and emotional support are even more prevalent.

At the same time, however, financial support is an increasing feature of many family relationships – either direct assistance such as loans or cash gifts, or indirect help such as the provision of accommodation in the family home. Family Generations and Financial Pressures found that:

  • 28% have borrowed from family and friends
  • The average amount borrowed is £2,123 – the equivalent of a UK family lending economy valued at £31 billion.

The good news is that in many cases, families who support each other in these ways say that family relationships have improved and that many family members don’t expect to get the money back.

  • 55% of those surveyed said they were pleased to lend
  • 25% said that they didn’t expect to get it back.

Subsequent reports will look at the key challenges facing many of the family generations, including parents living with adult children and older people.


This report is based on both quantitative and qualitative inputs, including a YouGov survey of 2,000 adults constituting a representative sample of people across the UK and a series of focus group sessions also conducted by YouGov. These inputs were subsequently analysed and debated by the Modern Family panellists in both group discussions and individual interviews.

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