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Grandparents are increasingly taking on the financial burden and dipping into their life savings to pay their grandchildren’s school fees.

Research conducted by industry super fund Rest has discovered that almost one-third of grandparents are planning to draw down on their superannuation to pay school fees for their grandchildren.

Damian Hill,The Chief Executive of Rest, told the ABC, that he was surprised by the results of the research.  The results were published late last year in its annual white paper The Journey Begins, which surveyed more than 1000 working Australians aged over 50.

The research found that 36 per cent of retirees want to leave their children a “significant inheritance”, while 29 per cent want to draw down on their super to pay school fees and 21 per cent planned to help their children pay for a deposit on a house.

“What comes through clearly is the desire of people approaching retirement to ease the financial burdens their adult children face today, especially buying a house and covering school fees,” Mr Hill said.

Education fund, The Australian Scholarships Group, has estimated that NSW parents alone can expect to pay upwards of $250,000 to cover the cost of a child’s private education.

Speaking with the ABC, the ASG chief executive John Velegrinis said grandparents had been increasingly contributing to school fees through their fund over the past five years.

“It’s not a new thing but it is increasing and we are seeing a much greater propensity for grandparents to take an active part in helping support the future educational outcomes for their grandchildren,” Mr Velegrinis said.  “Grandparents do tell us that firstly that they are trying to help their children, they are adult kids who have lots of other things to cope with, they have mortgage stress, other stresses and grandparents are very desirous of helping.”

Image source: Shutterstock

  • this is not fair…if you as a parent cannot afford to send your child to a private school then it is not up to the grandparents to pick up the pieces. choose a more affordable option.

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  • My parents would never have done this for my kids, they would tell me to find the money myself if I wanted it or do something else. I would never gave asked or expected them to either

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  • I agree with most of the MoMs here. Private school is a choice not a necessity. If parents choose private school for their children, they should pay for it.

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  • Many years ago relatives of ours found out their son had a sight problem but wasn’t actually technically blind. They were told he would have to go to a public school which concentrated sole on teaching braille etc. to blind children. The boy’s eyesight was slowly corrected with the assitance of special glasses. The parents didn’t have the resources to send him to a private school that had the facitilies to teach him. The Grandparents helped with the fees to give the lad the best chance of reaching hos potential instead of being held back.

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  • I’m quite shocked by this all thing! Why do they send kids to private schools then? There are a lot of great public schools. If you can’t afford them, don’t allow the grandparents to take money out of their super just to allow your kids to go to private schools. I wouldn’t do it.

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  • I’d feel pretty uncomfortable about this – it’s a huge ongoing expense.

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  • I find this horrible – if parents choose private schooling, then they should pay. The inequity and friction this causes between siblings is of high potential. Further, it adversely effects the capacity of the grandparents to look after themselves. Often grandparent feel forced or coerced into doing this kind of thing – while the parents are off buying new things, eating out, holidaying etc. Provide for your kids, within your own financial means. There are plenty of fantastic public schools to choose from.


    • I totally agree!!
      I can understand that as parents they want to help but they have worked hard to get what they have. They should be the ones to enjoy it!



      • yep and i would feel guilty to accept that! i couldn’t do that to my parents!

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  • Lke dr

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  • Happy to help my kids in every way but if we all keep doing this for them when do we get to retire. I don’t want to work into my late 60s still supporting my adult kids.

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  • Wow. I guess the grandparents wouldn’t do it if they couldn’t afford it.
    We borrowed money off my in-laws to help but a house, but we paid it back.

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