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Need a Parent Loan? Hit Dad Up First

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Be especially nice to your Dad on Father's Day this weekend.

You'd likely do it anyway, but there's a bonus -- it may pave the way for a cash infusion from dear old dad down the road.

Money problems? Need cash? Dad is likely to be your best bet for a fast response, a survey says.

How so? It turns out fathers are more likely to respond to a request for cash from a son or daughter by dipping into his wallet right away.

Mom is more likely to open up a conversation about money and responsibility before snapping her checkbook open -- and there's no guarantee that will happen.

The data supporting this comes from Minneapolis-based Ameriprise Financial (AMP - Get Report), who rolled out a study Tuesday on moms, dads and family money matters.

In it, Ameriprise researchers say both parents want to help their adult children experiencing cash flow problems, but they take dissimilar paths.

"Women and men may be predisposed to help family members in different ways -- which can cause disagreements and add to family tension if plans aren't discussed upfront," explains Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at Ameriprise. "Couples may not always agree on the best way to support an adult child, but they can often reach a compromise if they simply take time to talk and consider each other's perspective."

The study targets baby boomer parents and their adult children (and in some cases, their elderly parents, as well).

Ameriprise notes that a whopping 93% of boomers have given money to their adult children, and the gender differences come into play almost immediately. That's especially true of big-ticket purchases such as a car or a request from a son or daughter with help on paying off a fat credit card bill.

From the study:

  • By 58% to 48%, dads are more likely than moms to help out with a car purchase.
  • By 42% to 32%, dads are more likely to co-sign a lease or a loan.
  • By 51% to 43%, fathers are more likely than mothers to have their child's car insurance.
  • By 37% to 29%, dads were more likely than moms to have made a car payment for their kids.

Why are mothers slower on the draw? Ameriprise says moms want to have a conversation about money, and generally won't come across with the dough until that discussion happens.

The survey says that, by 54% to 46%, boomer moms are more likely than dads to need to talk it over before cutting a check to an adult child. That's also true of the adult daughters surveyed -- they say they follow their mother's lead more than their brothers do when handling family financial issues.

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