PRUDENTIAL
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The Edge

More than three quarters of Malaysian parents provide financial support to adult children

Only 40 per cent of respondents to a survey say they spend too much on their children

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 February, 2017, 1:39pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 March, 2017, 2:22pm

By Wong Ee Lin

More than three quarters (76 per cent) of Malaysian parents with children over 18 years old continue to support them financially, a new survey by Prudential revealed.

The inaugural 2016 Prudential Relationship Index (PRI) found that the ratio of children providing financial support to their parents is only slightly higher than that of parents who provide financial support to their children.

“Malaysians are very generous in providing financial support to parents and children. Sixty-nine per cent provide some type of financial support to their parents, while 65 per cent of those with children provide financial support to them,” said Prudential.

Less than half (40 per cent) of Malaysians say they spend too much money on their children.

The 2016 PRI is an exploratory study to find out what matters in personal relationships throughout Asia. In Malaysia, 605 interviews were conducted through online sampling with adults aged between 25 and 55 years. Respondents were residents of Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya with household incomes of at least RM4,000 (US$897) per month, representing the top two-thirds of household incomes in the two cities.

“Malays in particular are quite likely to provide pocket money to their children. 41 per cent of Malays give money to their children every day compared with just 26 per cent of Malaysian Chinese,” said Prudential.

The survey also found that the most likely source of arguments between couples in Malaysia is money (47 per cent), followed by children (33 per cent), being inattentive (32 per cent), too much time on the computer or phone (31 per cent) and housework (29 per cent).

“Overall, Malaysians tend to think that parents do indeed provide financial, wellness and practical support. A total of 71 per cent say that their parents would provide for them in emergencies. 68 per cent say their parents show concern about their well-being, and 66 per cent say their parents help them look after their children,” said Prudential.

The survey also revealed that Malaysian couples tend to keep their finances separate as only 39 per cent of married Malaysians have joint bank accounts, with just five per cent having only joint accounts and no personal accounts.

“Although they keep separate bank accounts, 67 per cent of Malaysians say that they make financial plans together with their partners and 77 per cent say they talk to each other about their future together,” the survey noted.

Malaysians also allocate separate roles when managing finances. 61 per cent of men say that they have most control on spending on big things, whereas only 24 per cent of women say so.

In contrast, when it comes to day-to-day finances, the percentages are almost reversed: 25 per cent of men and 61 per cent of women think they themselves are the ones responsible for day-to-day spending.

Prudential Assurance Malaysia Bhd (PAMB) chief marketing officer Khoo Ai Lin said the PRI allows the company to add value to the biggest issues in its customers’ lives because stronger relationships are rewarding for lifelong happiness, health and life satisfaction.

“In particular, the results for Malaysia are a cause for celebration as we are found to be expressive in romance, value honesty, encourage teamwork, and are highly family-oriented in caring for our parents and children,” she said at the launch of the index by PAMB and Prudential BSN Takaful Bhd (PruBSN).

“Because the PRI is intended to be an annual research project, it will be interesting to see what trends and changes will be revealed over the coming years,” PruBSN chief marketing officer Nor Azman Zainal said.

76% of parents provide financial support to adult children