Pensioners are giving an average of £39,350 of property wealth to their family, analysis from over-55s retirement specialist KeyRetirement.com reveals.
And that includes helping them get a foot on the property ladder – with £33,350 contributed on average towards house deposits.
Dean Mirfin, technical director at KeyRetirement.com, said: “Attitudes to inheritance are changing as people recognise the many benefits of using property wealth to help their family and friends while they are still alive.
“By taking advantage of the tax free benefits of equity release many pensioners can control how the money is used as well as see the immediate benefits of the gift they are giving their loved ones.
“Many see this early inheritance as a much greater benefit today than their children inheriting from them later.
“Many retirees do not relish the thought of their children and grandchildren going without and are more than happy to step in to ease the financial pressures on younger families who are just starting out.”
Over one in five retired homeowners access equity in their properties to treat children and grandchildren, with money predominantly being used to help children improve their long-term finances.
More than two-fifths of those unlocking equity in their home help their children to the tune of £20,000. Around 18% pay out over £50,000, while 6% gift more than £100,000 to their loved ones.
Other reasons for giving children gifts include buying cars, family weddings and starting new businesses, with around £6,000 being spent on cars and £11,000 going towards family weddings.
An average of £24,780 also goes towards giving grandchildren a helping hand.