Estate Planning by the Numbers: Millennials vs Baby Boomers

More Troubling Statistics When it Comes to Millennials and Estate Planning

Much has been made about the differences between Baby Boomers and Millennials and their spending/saving habits and other economic differences. According to new research from the Natixis U.S. Investor Survey, almost 70 percent of young people expect to inherit money from their parents.

Surprisingly, the same survey also shows that only 40 percent of parents in the survey plan to leave them something to inherit. Seems like a big divide, but other surveys and studies have shown (such as the Intra Generational one by Fidelity Investments that you can download HERE) that families have a tough time communicating about money and their final wishes.

The same survey research shows that those in their mid-thirties and under may have unrealistic plans for retirement because they may not stand to inherit and don’t even know it. “Millennials say they plan to quit working at age 59, on average, a full six years earlier than Baby Boomers, who expect to retire at age 65.”

According to Wikipedia, “As a group, baby boomers were the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to the era in which they arrived, and were amongst the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time.” But perhaps this clouded this generation’s judgement when it comes to preparing for the future.  According to the Natixis survey, “44 percent of Boomers don’t have a will; over half [57 percent] don’t expect to have money left to pass on.”

The survey goes on to reveal that the Boomers plan to spend their savings on themselves, either because they will live long lives from having taken such good care of themselves or because multiple financial crisis’s of their time weakened their savings. Some may just have made that choice to live comfortably. Surprisingly, 24% expect their children to help them through retirement. Parents don’t bank on it help though: Fidelity’s Intra Generational Study found that, “Ninety-seven percent of parents and children disagree on whether a child will take care of their parents if they become ill.”

One thing these statistics ultimately prove is that families have got to learn to connect when it comes to planning for the future. That will be our topic for an upcoming blog post!