Parents Giving up Nest Eggs to Marry off Kids, Survey Finds

      May 13, 2016 10:21

      Parents spent more than half of their retirement savings, or nearly W130 million on average, marrying off their children over the past five years, a recent survey shows (US$1=W1,167).

      Samsung Life Insurance surveyed 1,501 adults with an average of 2.2 children. Among the respondents were 218 parents whose children were all married in the past five years. They spent an average of W125.06 million on wedding expenses.

      When asked how they paid for their children's weddings, almost all of these parents (93 percent) used their own savings; 11.2 percent tapped their severance pay; 5.3 percent canceled private pension or insurance plans; and 12.4 percent took out loans. Respondents were allowed to give multiple answers.

      Some 23 percent of parents whose children were not yet married said they would borrow money if necessary.

      About 55 percent of the money that the surveyed parents had initially put away to fund their retirements had already been spent on marrying off children. Of the parents whose children were all married, 75 percent said the wedding costs had put a strain on their living standards.

      Spending on a son's wedding averaged W94 million, more than double the W42 million average for a daughter.

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