Happy 65th Birthday Boomers, Inheritance Maybe Coming Your Way

65bdayBoomers maybe getting an early birthday present as the clock turns in 2011.  The oldest of the Baby Boomers, over 78 million, will turn 65 in 2011 and maybe in for a windfall of money coming from family inheritance.  A new study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College for the MetLife Mature Market Institute, reports two-thirds of all Boomers stand to receive some inheritance over their lifetime – totaling $8.4 trillion at 2009 levels.  Already, $2.4 trillion has been received, with the median person getting $64,00.

The wealthiest group is set to receive an average of $1.5 million and the lower end of the range will receive almost $27,000.  The largest amount of wealth of Americans over 65 comes from their homes, with approximately 33% of their wealth coming from the difference between the sale of the home deducting any mortgage liens.  Given the decline in the housing market, this component of wealth transfer remains uncertain in the current environment.

“Regardless of the anticipated amount, any prospective inheritance is uncertain,” said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute.  ”Parents or grandparents who expect to leave a bequest may revise their plans based on fluctuations in their asset values.  Wealth may be consumed by medical and long-term care costs, or simply by virtue of long life.  In short, Boomer households should not count on an anticipated inheritance and forego the need for increased financial planning and retirement saving.”


To view a copy of the report, see here.