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Bring Up Your Clients' Favorite Topic: Being a Grandparent

A part of our series, Quality of Life

 


 

Neuroscientists used electromagnetic brain scans and heart-rate monitors to find out what makes people happy. They had participants do, look at, or listen to different things, and measured how happy it made them. The research found that smiling was the top stimuli for creating happiness.1 A study of baseball cards from 1952 revealed that players who smiled lived 7 years longer than those that didn’t.1 Few things can bring a smile to your clients face like discussing their grandkids. Ask about their granddaughter’s soccer season or whether their grandson is walking yet, and you’re bound to get an ear-to-ear grin (and maybe a smartphone photo slide slow).

Being a Grandparent Is a Blast, but It Can Also Be good for You

An Australian research study showed that grandmothers who spent time watching their grandchildren performed better on cognitive tests than those grandmothers who didn’t, and better than women that didn’t have grandchildren.2 A 20-year study from 1985 - 2004 found that when grandparents had close, positive relationships with their grandchildren, both groups experienced fewer symptoms of depression. Additionally, this study found that the closer the bond, the less depression was observed.3

Having relationships with grandchildren can also help reduce the risks of isolation. More people live alone than ever before—about one-third of Americans older than 65 and half of those over 85.4 Loneliness can increase the risk of premature death by 30%, making it as risky as obesity and as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.4 As clients get older, their social circles tend to shrink as their peers and relatives move or encounter health problems. Contrary to that trend, their grandchildren can become a larger part of their lives.5

 

 

6 Tips for Clients Who Are Grandparents

activeRunner

Get active—Younger grandchildren only have one priority in life—playing. To be a fun player, clients will need to run, jump, lift, and get up and down from the floor. The better shape they’re in, the more fun they’ll have, and the more they’ll be able to do with your grandchildren. Here’s how.

 

smileFace

Be encouraging—Kids move towards those who encourage them and move away from those who discourage them. Grandparents with a positive, encouraging attitude who are determined to build strong and lasting relationships with grandkids are most likely to succeed.

 

closeRelationship

Maintain good relationships with kids—Clients’ children are the gatekeepers to their grandchildren. When they have close relationships with their own kids, it’s easier to have close relationships with grandkids.

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Bond early—Grandparents should focus on building strong bonds with grandchildren when they’re young. Research found that grandchildren who felt their grandparents played an important role when they were young also felt close to them when they were older.6

phoneConnected

Stay connected—Proximity is one of the closest predictors of a strong relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. If your clients live near their grandchildren, encourage them to visit, attend sporting events, or participate in school activities like grandparents’ day. If your clients don’t live near their grandchildren, show them how they can use technology to stay involved. This article outlines need-to-know social media apps for connecting with grandchildren.

bike

Play!—Have a bunch of ideas ready for playtime. Here are 101 boredom-busting ideas.


Don’t Overdo It

Many grandparents enjoy helping out their children and grandchildren, but they should be careful about overdoing it. A 2015 study revealed that 61% of grandparents financially supported their children, and 54% helped them with errands, housework, home repairs, or child care.7 Even though many like to help out , 30% said providing so much help was “stressful,” and 14% said they were being asked to do “too much.”7

Can Grandparents Help Too Much?

 

StressedGrandparent-656335390

Source: 4 Ways 'Super Grandparents' Can Stress Less, Money, 8/31/16. Most recent data available.

 

If you sense that clients who are grandparents feel like they’re doing too much, suggest that they consider saying “no” more often. The family members they’re helping probably don’t want them stressed about because they’re helping too much. Also, help clients consider if they’re helping them out too much financially and putting their own financial future at risk. If that’s the case, they could help in other ways, like helping with transportation or homework.
 

Will Helping Grandparents Help My Business?

Your clients who are grandparents likely hold a large portion of the assets you manage. By 2020, the wealth of those currently 52 to 70 (prime grandparent age) will peak at more than 50% of the nation’s assets.8 Helping clients get the most out of their grandparent experience is a way to provide personalized service that’s likely one of their top priorities.


Grandparents Hold the Assets

50percentGrandparent

Source: Family Support in Graying Societies, Pew Research Center, 5/21/15. Most recent data available.

 


To summarize, we’ve covered:

  • Being a grandparent can be good for you
  • 6 tips for grandparents
  • Don't overdo it

 

Keep Smiling

Love for grandparents isn’t guaranteed in the grandparent-grandchild relationship. Grandchildren form bonds with individual grandparents based on the ways grandparents occupy that role. Encourage clients to commit to building strong, lasting relationships with grandchildren while they’re young. Those bonds will last and clients will enjoy the smiles that follow.

Asking about your clients’ grandchildren will make them smile. Providing them helpful tips on how to build stronger relationships with their grandkids will help you build a stronger relationship with your clients. And that’s enough to make everyone smile.


Next Steps:

  1. View or download the client piece below
  2. View or email a client version of this web page to clients
  3. Identify clients or prospects who are or will be grandparents and use these pieces to have a conversation about their grandparent experience

 

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Benefits of Being a Grandparent

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Sources: Study: Close grandparent-grandchild relationships have healthy benefits, The Boston Globe, 12/14/15; Studies Show Increased Health Benefits to Grandparents, A Place for Mom, 11/17/16. Most recent data available.


Sources:

1Neuroscience Says Doing This 1 Thing Makes You Just as Happy as Eating 2,000 Chocolate Bars, Inc.com, 8/29/17

2Study: Close grandparent-grandchild relationships have healthy benefits, The Boston Globe, 12/14/15. Most recent data available.

3Studies Show Increased Health Benefits to Grandparents, A Place for Mom, 11/17/16. Most recent data available.

4The Epidemic of Loneliness–and How to Combat It, The Wall Street Journal, 4/18/18

5What Keeps Grandparents and Grandchildren Close? verywellfamily.com, 4/6/18

65 Tips For Connecting With Your Grandchildren: The View From Grandchildren, Huffington Post, 6/18/13. Most recent data available.

7Family Support in Graying Societies, Pew Research Center, 5/21/15. Most recent data available.

84 Ways 'Super Grandparents' Can Stress Less, Money, 8/31/16. Most recent data available.

Links from this article to a non-Hartford Funds site are provided for users' convenience only. Hartford Funds does not control or review these sites nor does the provision of any link imply an endorsement or association of such non-Hartford sites. Hartford Funds is not responsible for and makes no representation or warranty regarding the contents, completeness or accuracy or security of any materials on such sites. If you decide to access such non-Hartford Funds sites, you do so at your own risk. 

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