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Planning Retirement Online

Are they mad to be dads in later life

August 2004


A survey from Lloyds TSB tells us what we think of late-flowering fatherhood

The trend for embracing fatherhood in the twilight years is no longer raising eyebrows. Nearly three-quarters of Brits (72 per cent) say they don’t think men should have a self-imposed biological clock according to new research from Lloyds TSB.

Post-fifty fathers such as Paul McCartney, Gordon Brown, and Des O’Connor will be cheered to hear that over a third of those surveyed said they thought fathering a child over the age of fifty is ‘great’.

Benefits from older dads 


Over three-quarters of people surveyed believe children can benefit from older dads’ greater maturity, wisdom and experience. And 54 per cent also think advancing years brings with it greater patience in fatherhood. Two-thirds (67 per cent) said that older fathers have more time to devote to their offspring.

The financial benefits of having ‘twilight tots’ is also seen as a being an upside, with the likelihood that post-50 dads will have more money and be able to provide more materially for their brood. 

Not all good news, though

Despite the support for ‘fathers at fifty’, just over a quarter of Brits still think that it is somewhat odd or unnatural, and possibly selfish. Many cite early bereavement for the children – with the expectation that the dads won’t be around for as long. Many felt that flagging energy levels may leave some dads over fifty unable to keep up with their kids.  And over a third (64 per cent) thought older dads would be less ‘in tune’ with their offspring’s trends. A cynical 49 per cent thought the ‘twilight tots’ may be taunted by playground teasing.

Naturally, Lloyds TSB hopes that older dads will be investing their money appropriately.  If they have it to invest. Dads who have been around for half a century or more are likely to have acquired children earlier in life, not to mention an ex wife or two.  Now there’s a drain on finances. 



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