Monday, December 27, 2010

Economy Boost Attributed To Secret Weapon: Grandparents

Last year America's 70 million grandparents spent $52 billion dollars on their grand kids according to Grandparents.com . That's a lot of spending power in the middle of a recession. But for them birthdays and Christmas are not the only time of year they give to the little tykes. Grandparents also contribute $17 billion dollars to the grandchildren's education. This includes payments for private school tuition, after school programs, college savings plans, textbooks and supplies. They also spend $10 billion on clothing for the kiddies and $6 billion or more on toys.

Today's grandparents are avoiding the silly plastic trinkets and useless electronic gadgets for more long term meaningful things like education. Even though hit by a hard economy and ever rising prices it's a rare grandparent that doesn't sacrifice for their little ones. They are there to also help teach the little ones valuable life lessons as they grow. You will hear grandparents say the way to a happy life is not the latest toy, but education and a good job, it is necessary for a bright future.

The growing trend nowadays is that the grandparents are in better financial shape than their children. This allows them to pick up the slack when it comes to the needs of the grandchildren. Grandparents who are retired or near retiring are able with their extra time or financial resources to help more. The parents may have no money available or are suffering from a job loss and need the help. Thank goodness for the grandparents help.

It's a fact that the generation of the parents will not be as prosperous as the generation of the grandparents. The parents are being called the sandwich generation. They are in the middle of parents who are enjoying extended life spans and children growing up in an ever expensive lifestyle.

If you were able to have your grandparents in your life as you were growing up you were lucky. In my case, my 2 grandfathers were alive to see me marry. Except for my Father, they have been the most influential men in my life. They were frugal before frugal was something new. They taught me about life and family. The made my life richer. I hope I can be half as good as they were. Again, thank goodness for grandparents.


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3 comments:

  1. My mom pays for Catholic high school and college tuition for the grandchildren.
    I have already set up, and contribute to, my grandson's 529.
    You are right grandparents are doing a great deal these days. It seems funny that the generation who is afraid of having "mom and dad end up living with them" are the same ones who use those people as child care for years.

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  2. It was exactly the same for me. Without the grandparents help my kids could not attend. I hope I can be as generous as they were when its my turn.

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  3. I had one set of grandparents growing up and they taught me a lot of valuable lessons, but didn't contribute financially in any way. I didn't expect them to, and don't expect my kids' grandparents to chip in any dollars for them. I'd be satisfied with everyone being able to take care of their own financial needs.

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