This Sunday is Mother’s Day, in case you’ve not noticed. With UK mums living longer and working harder than ever, we look at what life is like for us mums in 2018.
1. We are doing more housework (not less)
According to a survey on behalf of Clintons 10 per cent of UK adults aged 65+ receive regular help with daily chores like washing, cooking and shopping from their mothers. An increasing number of mums are aged 85 and over and still juggling the demands of babysitting, cooking meals for their children, washing their clothes and doing the family shop.
2. Mums are more involved in their children’s lives than ever before
According to the survey mums aged over 65 often remain involved with all elements of their children’s lives. This involves everything from cooking them meals (12%), doing their shopping (12%), washing and ironing their clothes (10%) to cleaning their house (11%). And 7% of mums with kids aged 65 plus will cook them a meal at least 10 times per month.
3. Mums are living longer
Grandmother specific captions now account for one-in-10 of all cards sold for Mother’s Day. Nans, grandmas, grannies and grandmothers are honoured with over 70 different card designs this year. Cards from grandchildren as well as those for great-grandmothers have also been introduced. Nicola Miller of Clintons, says: “The age of retirement appears to have little impact on mums of today. Senior mums often take on a dual role. Aside from their important relationship with grandchildren, many continue to actively support their own sons and daughters well into their 60’s and beyond. It won’t be long before we’ll have to introduce cards for great-great-grandmothers on Mother’s Day.”
4. It’s more expensive to be a mum (surprise, surprise!)
Some 696,271 babies were born in England and Wales in 2016 – 41% of them were first babies, according to financial advisers Hargreaves Lansdown. Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown says: “Children aren’t cheap. At the last count, raising a child to the age of 21 was around £230,000. The first year is particularly costly – at an estimated £11,000 – as parents need a seemingly endless list of new baby kit, while also dealing with the horrible financial impact of maternity leave, paternity leave and childcare.”
5. You need to think about finance
Sarah recommends these as your five family financial must-haves:
- Protect your family
Its vital to have life or some kind of financial safefy net in place, so if the worst was to happen, they have a financial safety net.
- Cut the cost of childcare
The incredible cost of childcare can put a hole in even the most sensible budgets. There’s a new tax-free childcare scheme worth taking advantage of if you can. Parents with children up to the age of 12 (where both parents work and earn between £120 a week and £100,000 a year) can open a tax-free childcare account, pay in up to £8,000 a year per child, and the government will top it up by 20% – up to £2,000. You then use cash in your account to pay for care.
- Start saving for your children
A Junior ISA investing in stocks and shares is a great way to build a tax-free lump sum at the age of 18, to give them a good start in life, and by starting young, they can take advantage of the transformative effect of compound growth. In the current tax year, anyone can contribute up to £4,128 to a JISA, so there’s plenty of allowance available for birthday and Christmas presents. Get grandparents involved too. Rather than birthday presents get them to pay in £20 or £30 into your child’s savings account.
- If you can’t do much, do something
At this stage you can put as little as £25 a month in a stocks and shares ISA. The sum of money isn’t important, what is key is that you have established a regular savings habit.
- Don’t forget your pension
It’s easy to let pension contributions go at this stage. You may not return to work for while, and when you do, it’s tempting to opt out of pension contributions while life is more expensive. But losing the pensions savings habit is a dangerous business. If you are not earning, you still have a £3,600 allowance for pension contributions. As a family it’s worth having a conversation about whether there’s any way to afford paying into your pension.