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More grandparents being asked to look after their grandkids

Dec, 13, 2012 | No Comments | news, Retirement Planning

Any good retirement plan should take all sorts of things into consideration, ranging from finances to keeping busy now work has come to an end.

However, one aspect of retirement that many people don't think about is childcare – and if new figures are anything to go by, this could be a major oversight.

Facts and figures

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that 27 per cent of women who have gone back to work after the birth of their child had relied on grandparents to look after their children.

This is the case for women with youngsters under the age of two, potentially leaving grandparents with a drain on their time and income.

Cassandra Gligora, ABS director of labour force and supplementary surveys, said: "The survey results show that 86 per cent of women who returned to work after the birth of their child used at least one flexible work arrangement to assist with the care of their child."

Three-quarters of women returned to part-time work, while more than a third went back to work when their child was seven to 12 months old.

What this means for grandparents

Although some grandparents will look forward to the prospect of spending time with the newest additions to their families, there are likely to be some other concerns under the surface.

One of the main issues that grandparents might be thinking about is the pressure that looking after children will put on their retirement income, especially if they are not receiving any payment for their services.

As retirees live on a restricted income, even the smallest of everyday costs such as keeping grandchildren entertained and fed can start to become a burden.

If there is any possibility that you might be asked to look after grandchildren, this needs to be taken into consideration during the retirement planning stages.

There is also the issue of failing to fulfil all the plans that you have made for the retirement years – if you had hoped to travel the world or take up a new hobby, make sure this doesn't fall by the wayside.

After all, retirement is the time to do whatever you never had enough hours to do in the past, so ensure that your children realise this when they come to you to look after their own kids.

ipac is one of Australia's largest financial advisory firms and has offices based across the country. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the AMP Group, ipac specialises in research and financial advice that helps clients lead happier, more fulfilling lives.

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