Intergenerational issues intensified – time to reconnect

The pandemic has divided the population, by age, profession and where in the country they reside. Divisions unfortunately often create tensions, not least between the generations. 

With younger generations feeling resentful over tuition fees and worsening job prospects, there is rising concern about the economic impact of the pandemic upon Generation Z. In fact, a recent summary of UK youth unemployment statistics revealed ‘the number of unemployed young people aged 16-24 increased by 109,000 in the last year, to 589,000’. The pressures they’re facing are unique to their generation.

Empathise to connect

The pandemic has brought extra concerns for older generations too. One worry has been poor access to cash and banking services, with ATM and branch numbers declining. According to a recent Government report ‘cash use is declining and appears to have been accelerated by the pandemic’. And those who are unable to use digital technology ‘are at risk of being left behind’.

Plenty of older people acknowledge the challenges that upcoming generations face and often help financially at important life-stages. Or simply want to ensure they can pass their wealth on through to children and grandchildren without the taxman getting too much of their hard-earned money. 

It’s about family

In addition to heightening intergenerational issues, the pandemic has highlighted health, social, emotional and financial vulnerabilities – every generation has felt the impact. Many people have reflected on the balance in their lives and the importance of feeling connected and to talk. And although generational divides exist, despite enduring time apart, it’s brought many of us closer.

You may be in a position where you want to engage your family (children, grandchildren, parents or other close relatives) with a conversation about money. If so, we understand your apprehension because money can be a contentious subject. But it may help to break down any barriers and get your family talking in a positive and productive way.

If you have children or grandchildren, have you talked to them about the importance of savings? Have you highlighted the value of starting early and saving into a pension? Or discussed whether you/they have a will? Have you discussed inheritance tax planning and looked at ways to pass money on to children and grandchildren?

Talking openly about these things can help ensure that you leave the next generation with something truly valuable – good money habits.

Research Briefing – UK Parliament House of Commons Library:
1. Youth unemployment statistics, 23 February 2021
2. Protecting access to cash, 1 December 2020

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