Monday, July 21, 2008

Charles Schwab reports on attitudes toward filial responsibility

Charles Schwab (an investment bank) has published online the results of a survey on attitudes toward aging that show a surprising awareness (often increasing with younger people, going from baby boomers through Generations Y and X) that individual adults, even singles who have never married or had children, might have to support their parents or even siblings. This item suggests that the public is more aware of filial responsibility as a "moral issue" than the media has generally reported.

Some of the questions are “I worry that I might have to contribute to the finances of my parents”; “I expect my children will help me out financially when I retire”; “I worry that I might have to contribute to the finances of my siblings” (this one is a surprise); “It’s important to pass on a money inheritance to the next generation”. The web page, called “An Aging Population”, is available here.

The media has reported Schwab as saying that 40% of Americans will face having to provide for their parents and should not expect to receive inheritances.

I found a blog on Myspace that talks about retirement security for African Americans and that highlights the expectation of tighter family connections in that community (includes reference to an AP story by Daniel Sorid), link here.

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