A study by financial behemoth, Allianz Life, revealed something that surprised me. One of the survey questions asked: Please indicate how important it is for you personally that you receive [if you’re a boomer]/provide [if you’re an elder parent] any of the following as an inheritance.
Surprisingly, “stuff” wasn’t at the top of the list. 77% of Boomers and their parents felt that “Values and life lessons” were the most important inheritance. Only 10% of Boomers felt that “financial assets or real estate” were most important while 39% of elders did. Let’s rephrase that to be sure it’s clear: Elders were four times more likely than their children to believe that money and property were the most important inheritance. Elders vastly overestimate their childrens’ expectations of inheriting financial assets and/or real estate.
This is borne out by my experience that many parents even endanger their own financial welfare by attempting to leave too much to the kids. What a shame, if it’s not even that important to the kids.