Boomers Not Sharing the Wealth
September 9, 2011
Many Baby Boomers, even wealthy ones, have no intention of leaving an inheritance. Instead, they plan to use their fortunes on themselves. A new study by U.S. Trust shows that less than half of wealthy Boomers surveyed plan to leave an inheritance. About the same number have not even told their children what they are worth.
This marks a sharp departure from attitudes among previous generations and comes as a shock to the financial planning industry. The results left the president of U.S. Trust sounding a little like a Millennial: “We were, like, ‘wow,’” said Keith Banks.
Some Boomers surveyed (25%) worry that a large inheritance would discourage the development of a work ethic in their children. Others (20%) worry that the bequests would be squandered quickly and wastefully. Many simply expressed the desire to enjoy the fruits of their labors and feel that they have already doled out their fair share for kids’ tuition, travel, lifestyle, room and board, down payments, etc. It’s their turn. If you can’t take it with you, they reason, why leave it behind?