Can’t afford to get on the property ladder? Feel overwhelmed by student debt? Don’t worry, you’ve got more than £100,000 coming your way – you just have to wait for your parents to die.
New research suggests adults aged between 55-64 will have an average net worth of around £218,000 when they retire and they’ll leave more than two-thirds of it to their children.
The findings have been called “a relief to younger generations” like millennials an Gen Xers, but funnily enough, we’re not that relieved to hear our only hope of financial security is cashing in when the “bank of Mum and Dad” closes its doors for the final time.
Our loved ones’ mortality aside, we’re unlikely to receive any of this money until we’re in our sixties ourselves, just as we’re facing a future of uncertain pensions, health and social care. Joy.
The research, by the IFS Retirement Savings Consortium and the Economic and Social Research Council, found the average adult aged 55-64 has house wealth of £185,000 and other wealth of around £33,000 upon the eve of their retirement.
Currently, retirees spend less than a third of their money between the ages of 70 and 90, meaning if your parents are baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) you could receive as much as £145,000 in inheritance.
Of course, that relies on spending trends remaining static and our parents resisting those (well-deserved) round the world holidays. The researchers also acknowledged the continuation of windfalls is uncertain, saying “if future retirees have lower pensions than current retirees, drawing larger sums from housing wealth may become more prevalent”.
This means our parents are living for longer (hurrah!), but the age we’re likely to receive any inheritance will increase. Someone currently aged 40 who was born to a 27-year-old mother is expected to receive a bequest from their parents at the age of 63. However, this figure will continue to rise as life expectancy increases.
Essentially, relying on inheritance to get you through life is a really, really bad plan and the suggestion millennials have it easy because we have a ticket to this “lottery by death” is beyond frustrating.
With the average student debt now totting up around £50,000, sky-high housing prices locking many people out of the property market, and renting so unstable its impacting the nation’s mental health, a stack of cash in your sixties isn’t really going to help.
And let’s not forget, when we have a society that relies on inheritance to fund the next generation, it only serves to perpetuate privilege and punish those whose parents do not have assets to pass on.
Some millennials may benefit from inheritance some day, but we won’t be getting out the party poppers and prosecco just yet.