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Financial and child care support from grandparents is a huge help in raising children right now

2 minute read

If you’re putting off starting a family because of money, just ask mom and dad for help.

Grandparents that are more willing to help out are saving their millennial children tens of thousands of dollars a year in child-rearing, TD Ameritrade says.

“Millennials are becoming parents with eyes wide open to the financial implications of raising a child and most are diligently planning and saving for these costs in advance of starting a family,” says David Lynch, managing director and head of branches at TD Ameritrade. But they have backup.

The survey says each young parent with a living parent gets more than $11,000 a year in “financial support and unpaid labor from their parents.”

As the average age of first-time mothers increases annually, young families are making sure their finances are in order before bringing life into the world. The TD Ameritrade survey shows half of young parents are delaying having kids until they were financially secure.

“Twice as many millennial parents as grandparents strongly agree that they waited until being financially secure before having children,” the survey says. And even then, the amount of children that families have is limited. Millennial parents admit they’d have a third child — up from the average of two — if it didn’t cost so much to have and raise children.


A big help for young parents is help from their parents, and a lot has to do with money. Fifty-four percent of millennial parents have received financial support from their parents in the last year, and it’s more common in single parents, as two-thirds of them receive parental support.

It doesn’t just stop with money, though. Young parents that get child support from grandparents save money they would’ve spent on paid child care.

“Millennials with parents who provide primary childcare receive 14.3 hours per week, and those with parents providing back-up childcare receive 9.2 hours per week,” the survey says. “Grandparents’ help with childcare and other unpaid labor can save parents up to $300 per week.”

Despite the help, parents of parents don’t expect this support — financially or otherwise — to last forever. The survey showed that half of grandparents see helping out as temporary. That could be because around the same amount of respondents admit they’ve made financial sacrifices to help out with their child’s new family.

Raising a family, young or old

One of the hardest things parents are facing right now is how hard it is to talk to their kids about money because they don’t know enough about it. Many know some basics, like saving and credit cards, but when it comes to investing and retirement, parents could use a few lessons. Because of this, many young people have no idea how budgeting and financing works. Which means they are growing up without any understanding of how to financially provide for their children. This is a big reason why millennials are waiting longer to have children.

Not all young people have it bad, though. Sometimes financial understandings, like some hereditary traits, skip a generation. It looks like millennials and their grandparents are most alike when it comes to money. Both groups are fairly conservative when it comes to saving and check their budgets more often than Gen Xers. While retirement savings is still difficult for millennials, they know it: 73 percent of them plan to work past 65 years of age because they don’t expect Social Security to take care of them when they’re old.

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About the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn is a full-time freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She’s president of Blossomers Media, Inc., a web development and online media consulting company. Along with her work on, she’s been a longtime freelancer for Money Talks News — a personal and consumer finance website — and South Florida Gay News — the largest weekly LGBT newspaper in the South. Zinn has written for a variety of other publications, including Huffington Post, The Week, Quartz, Fort Lauderdale Magazine, Indulge, and

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