Baby boomers hold on to your houses, kids coming home

08 May 2016

Baby boomer mums and dads contemplating a long, carefree retirement, don’t downsize your house just yet - the kids are coming back home… or at least that’s the backup plan for a chunk of New Zealanders under 40 if they suffer a sudden loss of income due to illness.

That is one of the findings from a recent survey1 of more than 600 Kiwis between the ages of 18 to 39 ahead of the launch of AMP Essentials2, New Zealand’s first combined life, trauma and temporary disablement insurance product (linked with the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme).

Insured with mum and dad

When asked the question: ‘If you couldn’t work for more than three months due to illness, how would you survive?’, 11 per cent of respondents said they would move back in with mum and dad, and a further seven per cent said they would turn to friends or family for help paying the bills.

Therese Singleton, AMP’s General Manager of Insurance and Investments, said parents shouldn’t sell-up for sunnier climes or a smaller home just yet, because you could well need those extra bedrooms.

Check your children have insurance policies

“The only way to potentially stave off having your retirement plans scuppered is to check that your kids have adequate insurance, and don’t take it for granted that they have insurance even if they are married with children and have their own home.

“A Financial Services Council study3 released in 2013 found that 84 per cent of Kiwis insure their car from accident or theft, but just 20 per cent have income protection, and only 56 per cent have life insurance.”

Therese said that annually nearly 15,0004 of those families will experience an illness that sees the primary bread winner off work for more than six months.

And those that have no plan at all

“While many New Zealanders will turn to mum and dad or friends, 16 per cent of respondents have no idea what they would do.

“What is particularly worrying is that more than half (55%) of the respondents in this age category still chose flights and accommodation to a mystery break, instead of a year’s worth of life and income protection insurance. Fifty-four per cent said they would choose a $1,000 gift card over insurance,” she said.

Moving back to the parents and staying longer

It’s not a statistic that should surprise though, following studies like that of the Pew Research Centre which reported that in the United States more millennial are moving back home with their parents - and staying longer.

“26 per cent of 18 to 34 year-olds are living with their families,” analysts said.

Therese said that while most of us can laugh and joke about not selling the family home just yet, it is a potentially disastrous situation that could set families back years.

AMP Essentials bridges the divide

To help make insurance easier for under 40s, AMP’s Essentials product has been designed to make basic life, trauma and temporary disablement cover affordable and easy to sign-up to. It is only available to people who are also members of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme.


1606 participants completed the AMP Essentials survey. Margin of error+/-4% at the 95% confidence of interval (considered an acceptable margin of error).
2AMP Essentials is available to existing AMP KiwiSaver Scheme members only (members as at 21 March 2016. The offer is only available from Monday, 11 April for 60 days).
3Summary Report: The People Insurance Gap - Exploring Underinsurance in New Zealand (Financial Services Council).
4The Financial Services Council (FSC) Income Study 2013.

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The content provided is intended to be used as information only and does not constitute financial advice. Before acting on any of the results provided, we recommend that you seek advice which takes your individual circumstances into account.

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