Grandparents are a generous bunch when it comes to their big bundles of joy. At 70 million strong – up 24% from 56 million in 2001 – the group spends a collective $179 billion on their grandkids annually, according to new research from AARP.
The average spent is $2,562.
Some grandparents, though, are shelling out far more on their grandchildren’s education costs alone, with 21%, or about 14.7 million, providing an average $4,075 annually. About 7%, or 4.9 million grandparents, have taken on credit card debt or co-signed private student loans to help pay for college.
The study, which includes a survey of more than 2,600 grandparents, takes a broad look at the relationship between them and their grandkids. It shows that the youngest grandparents are about age 38, and most adults – 96% – are in that role by age 65. The average age to become a grandparent is 50, up from 48 in 2011.