• Account Access
  • Contact Us

    Pre-Sales Support
    Mutual Funds and ETFs - 800-456-7526
    Monday-Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET
    Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

    Post-Sales and Website Support
    Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET

  • Advisor Log In

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

Being a grandparent is a blast, but it’s also 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 research 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.5 Spending time with grandkids can help decrease the risk of isolation.



6 Tips for Clients Who Are Grandparents


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. 



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.



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.


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.5


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.


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 be should be careful not to overdo it. Ninety four percent of grandparents provide some sort of financial support.6 Fifty three percent help pay for education, 37% help pay for living expenses, and 23% help pay for medical bills.7 Grandparent couples spend an average of $2,383 on their grand kids every year.


Can Grandparents Help Too Much?



*Source: Money and the Modern Grandparent, AARP, 2019
**Source: The Generation of Grandparents Who Keep Their Grandchildren Afloat, The Atlantic, 1/30/19


A 2015 study found that even though many like to help out, 30% of grandparents said providing so much help was “stressful,” and 14% said they were being asked to do “too much.”8

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. Boomers, currently ages 57-74 (prime grandparent age), hold 57% of US wealth.9 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


Source: This depressing chart shows the jaw-dropping wealth gap between millennials and boomers, MarketWatch, 12/28/19


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



Benefits of Being a Grandparent


Sources: *Study: Close grandparent-grandchild relationships have healthy benefits, The Boston Globe, 12/13/15. Most recent data available.
**The Health Benefits of Having (and Being) Grandparents, US News and World Report, 9/13/17. Most recent data available.


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.

3The Health Benefits of Having (and Being) Grandparents, US News and World Report, 9/13/17. Most recent data available.

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

56 Factors of Grandparent-Grandchild Closeness, verywellfamily.com, 7/17/20

6Money and the Modern Grandparent, AARP, 2019

7The Generation of Grandparents Who Keep Their Grandchildren Afloat, The Atlantic, 1/30/19

8Family Support in Graying Societies, Pew Research Center, 5/21/15. Most recent data available

9This depressing chart shows the jaw-dropping wealth gap between millennials and boomers, MarketWatch, 12/28/19.

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.