Inheritances could be a saving grace for baby boomer retirees, a new study reports.
According to “The MetLife Study of Inheritance and Wealth Transfer to Baby Boomers,” this population segment will inherit $8.4 trillion, of which $2.4 trillion has already been received.
Most boomers will receive the remaining $6 trillion in late middle age upon the death of the surviving parent. Most inheritances are passed from parents to children (63% of inheritances and 74% of dollars), according to the study, authored by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College for the MetLife Mature Market Institute.
However, given the recent economic crisis and the accompanying fall in housing and stock values between 2007 and 2010, the amount of wealth transfer may decline 13%, from $6 trillion to $5.2 trillion.
Two-thirds of boomer households will receive some inheritance over their lifetimes, with a median amount of $64,000. Although the incidence of receipt increases with income, 50% or more of households in all income groups will eventually receive an inheritance.
Although high-wealth households will receive significantly more than low-wealth households, inheritances have a much bigger impact on the latter group.
Other key findings:
Review the full study here.
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