One of the most talked-about age groups in recent memory is the Baby Boomers, people born between the end of World War II and 1960. They have been equally praised and blamed for many things, but many of their heirs may be cursing them — most don’t plan on leaving an inheritance.
Boomers want to enjoy golden years
“Baby Boomers,” the group of Americans born between 1946 and 1964, depending on whom is asked, are a special group. They gave birth to “Flower Power,” made Elvis and the Beatles insanely popular and were central in struggles for civil rights. They have also been blamed for causing the 2008 housing and stock market crash and have been accused of being the most selfish group of people in history. A recent survey, according to the Los Angles Times, found more than half of Baby Boomers plan on spending their retirement years and retirement money on enjoying themselves. The kids getting any money was a secondary consideration.
The kids might just waste it
The survey, conducted by U.S. Trust, found that 51 percent of Baby Boomers didn’t plan on leaving an inheritance to their children. Time Magazine said the survey was of “millionaire boomer parents,” and according to Wikipedia, U.S. Trust is the oldest trust company in the nation and has a mostly wealthy clientele. According to Time, 25 percent of survey respondents felt that their children would “become lazy” with a large inheritance, and 20 percent believed their kids would squander it. Others also are concerned with the possibility that they might live longer than their nest egg can support them. The U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth survey also found 17 percent of respondents didn’t think their children could handle an inheritance. Fifty-two percent hadn’t disclosed their net worth to their offspring, and 49 percent of survey respondents felt their heirs will not have as high a standard of living.
Survey only applies to 3 percent of population
The survey, the 2011 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth, applies only to the wealthy. According to CNN, the number of people fitting the popular notion of “wealthy,” meaning those with annual income of $200,000 or more, is only about 3 percent of Americans. The other 97 percent don’t likely have a lot to look forward to, either. A 2003 CNN article reported a study found only 8 percent of the population could look forward to an inheritance at all. Half of those lucky few in that study stood to inherit $25,000 or less. Trying to build up a nest egg by investing might also be problematic, as Baby Boomers selling stock portfolios is expected to cause stock prices to fall for the next decade, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Federal Reserve of San Francisco estimates stock markets will recover by 2030.