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Seniors still spend on grandkids, regardless of cutbacks elsewhere

December 21, 2013

For many seniors, their role as grandparents is one of the most important aspects of retirement living, and many experts say that this tends to influence these elderly individuals' spending habits. In fact, even while seniors are trying to cut down on the retirement cost of living in other areas, they still splurge when it comes to their grandchildren, CNBC reported.

This habit is especially on display during the holidays, when grandparents may be more willing to spend in an effort to put a smile on their young loved ones' faces. Amy Goyer, an expert on family issues for AARP, says that the payoff often makes the cost worth it.

"Giving gifts is a wonderful thing and it makes you feel good," she told the news source. "It's seeing those little faces light up. You just live for that sometimes, and the holidays are a time when you don't really want to change that."

Goyer has performed research on the spending habits of older adults, and although she admits that older adults have cut back spending on grandchildren in the wake of a weakened economy, her findings also reveal that they provide support to their grandkids, whether through buying new clothes or paying for lessons.

A report released last year by AARP revealed just how important grandchildren are to their grandparents. Specifically, of those surveyed 59 percent said they play a very important role in their grandkids' lives, while 30 percent play a somewhat important role. It should also come as no surprise that 69 percent of seniors surveyed lived within 50 miles of their grandchildren.