Longer Lives, Stronger Families

This event launched an SMF report investigating how patterns of help and inheritance are changing as older generations live for longer; the effects of these changes on families and the implications for policy.

John Penrose MP, Cabinet Office Minister
Anna Dixon, Chief Executive, Centre for Ageing Better
Timothy Fassam, Head of Public Affairs, Prudential
Nigel Keohane, Research Director, SMF
Sarah Neville, Public Policy Editor, Financial Times (Chair)

Increasing life expectancy is one of the most significant developments shaping economic and social decision-making. This new report charts how the shape of intergenerational families has changed over time with longer lives, and how the practical and financial support given across the generations has altered.

The report provides new evidence on the complex choices that older and younger people make as they balance their own future needs with those of their family.

It also provides new evidence on attitudes to practical support provided across the generations such as ‘grandparental’ childcare, multi-generation living and care provided to older relations. The report concludes with a discussion of the complex policy implications that must be confronted.

At this event, we will discuss the report’s findings and debate the following key questions:

  • How are longer lives and other factors affecting the shape of intergenerational families?
  • What do such factors mean for families and the support that is given across generations?
  • What are people’s attitudes to support across the generations?
  • What are the policy consequences e.g. for housing, care and financial support?


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