As the United States faces increasingly uncertain economic times and employment outlook, working adults can no longer count on an inheritance to boost their retirement savings fund. A 2012 Allianz Life – American Legacies Study released this May suggests a shift in the attitudes of Baby Boomers (between 47 and 66) and Elders (72+). Both of these groups reported that family stories and heirlooms are their most important legacy – as opposed to a monetary inheritance, while only 20% of Elders said that they owe their children any inheritance at all.
One in four Baby Boomers (25%) said that they have not even begun to plan out an inheritance. This reflected a declining trend in inheritance planning – just 5% of Elders, the generation before boomers, have failed to plan out their inheritance. The Allianz Life Study also examined Baby Boomers’ attitudes towards their financial advisors. In the last seven years, Boomers have become more likely to name “helping to maximize long-term value” as a desirable quality in a financial professional, with 60% of Boomers agreeing with this statement in 2012 compared to just 42% in 2005.
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The Wall Street Journal also came out with a detailed study on June 11th that goes into more depth on boomers’ and their parents’ perceptions of inheritance.