Affluent Parents Concerned Wealth May Spoil Financial Responsibility of Children

May 3, 2006 ( - Affluent parents are worried that spoiling their children will deter them from working hard, and some expect to support their children far into adulthood, according to a new survey that tries to gauge the attitudes about wealth among high net worth individuals, how it affects their lives and their wealth management needs.

Nearly one- quarter of affluent parents worry that family wealth will deter their children from working hard in school or their careers, according to the survey of 1,500 adults by the PNC Financial Services Group. About one in five parents overall — and one in three parents who have more than $10 million in investable assets — expects to support their children well into their adulthood.

One of the biggest concerns, according to the survey, is if the children of affluent parents will take care of their aging parents and if they will preserve their family’s wealth, according to the press release. Only about 50% of the respondents in the survey said they expect their children and grandchildren to be responsible with their inherited wealth.

“Wealth affects family dynamics and relationships, and it can be both a blessing and a burden,” said Bruce Bickel of PNC Wealth Management in the release. “There is a responsibility that comes with having money and a sense of stewardship that should be part of the family culture.

The survey found that even though most of the respondents agree financial responsibility is important, only about half of them have pushed their children to take an after school job or do community service.

Even if three-quarters of parents surveyed see it as important to be open with their children about financial matters, only one-third have shared and discussed the family budget with their children, and more than half have never discussed the meaning of family wealth.

Despite their own wealth, many affluent adults are concerned about their parents’ current and long-term financial condition, with four in 10 seeing financial support of older family members as an important financial goal. Forty percent of survey respondents under the age of 65, expressed concern about their parents’ current financial outlook, while about 50% half said they were worried about their parents’ long-term financial situation.