Parents May not be Great Financial Role Models

April 11, 2011 ( – 95% of parents say they are primarily accountability or their children’s financial education but only 29%  think they are "excellent" financial role models, according to a new poll by ING DIRECT.

An ING DIRECT news release said economic uncertainty may continue to be impacting parents’ ability to be good role models.  Parents are tapping their kids’ savings to pay bills and debt, the survey says:

  • 31% have withdrawn or considered withdrawing money from their kids’ savings to pay bills or pay off debt.  
  • 58% of parents are saving less for their child’s future compared to two years ago.  Nearly half (46% of parents have sacrificed contributions to their child’s savings.

While parents see themselves as accountable for their kids’ financial education, they struggle to talk to their children about money:.  

  • Parents are more prepared to talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol (32%) than about money and finances (26%).  
  • Twenty-eight percent of parents are more prepared to talk to their children about sex and dating than money and finances (26 %).

The national phone survey was conducted within the United States by TNS on behalf of ING DIRECT USA February 16 through February 27, 2011 among 2,000 adults age 18+, 627 of whom were parents of a child under 18 years old.