Grandparents are not connecting with their grandchildren when it comes to talking about spending and saving, according to a survey by TIAA-CREF released Tuesday.
Only 8 percent of grandparents say they are likely to start a conversation with their grandchildren ages 18 and younger about money and the importance of saving for college, says the survey. However, 85 percent of young adults say they are open to talking with their grandparents about money and saving.
“The findings reveal that grandparents have a big opportunity to make a positive impact on their grandchildren’s future financial success by simply talking to them about money,” says TIAA-CREF, a financial service organization and retirement services provider with $613 billion in AUM.
The survey included responses from 1,000 grandparents with a grandchild 18 years of age or older and 1,003 respondents 18 to 24 years of age.
Only 30 percent of grandparents think they can influence their grandchildren’s money habits, and yet, 73 percent of young adults indicate their grandparents actually do influence their saving and spending habits, according to the study. Fifty-nine percent of the young people say their grandparents are very good to excellent savers.
“Young adults are surprisingly open to talking with their grandparents about money, regardless of the generation gap,” says Joseph Coughlin, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab, which participated in the study. “When it comes to saving for college, most young adults feel unprepared, and grandparents aren’t fully aware of how they can help. Conversations about money over time could help young adults more than their grandparents realize.”