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The inheritance mystery debunked

It seems like a tradition between generations: one generation having vastly different values and thinking differently than the previous generation. This axiom can be applied to many differences between baby boomers and their children, including political differences, views on parenting, and work styles. One other difference is worth noting: their views on inheritances.

According to a recent survey by Interest.com, only 1 in 4 Americans believe they will inherit anything from their parents, much less anything else from a family member. At the same time, 60 percent of older Americans indicated that they have been saving money to pass on to the next generation.

While this may seem completely contradictory, consider that baby boomers have amassed more than  $6 trillion in transferrable wealth to be inherited. Indeed, more people are choosing to leave money and assets to charitable organizations, but it suggests that parents have money stored away than they are reporting.

It also suggests that more people are concerned about the uncertainty of what life can bring before one passes on. More retirees are living longer, which means that they will eventually need to live on the money they had set aside to provide for their children after they passed. As such, it has become more important for people to have proper estate plans that account for the costs that can come about with a longer life.

With 60 percent of Americans ages 55 and over having less than $100,000 saved for retirement, planning has become an essential aspect of wealth transfers for future generations.

Source: DailyFinance.com, “The kids think you’re spending their inheritance. Are they wrong?” Rich Smith, September 27, 2013

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