Don't Expect Much Inheritance From Baby Boomer Parents

Filed under: In The News

baby boomers

Credit: Karen Bleier, Getty Images

Your baby boomer parents might -- might -- leave you their collection of Frank Zappa albums and those stylish water pipes they used for, uh, smoking tobacco.

They may have shared everything back at the commune, but that doesn't mean you're getting squat.

A Bank of America survey of wealthy baby boomers reveals only 49 percent of the old skinflints say it's important to leave money to their children. The rest plan to blow their cash on travel, personal relationships (i.e. some waitress named "Moonbeam") and even more Birkenstock sandals.

You get zip-a-dee-do-da.

"There is an expectation about the wealthy that they have an implicit, sacred responsibility to pass down their fortune to the next generation," Sallie Krawcheck, head of Bank of America's wealth management division, tells the Los Angeles Times. "Our research, however, uncovered a distinct generational mindset that reflects changing views about what retirement means and an evolving sense of what one generation owes the next."

The survey polled 457 people nationwide who earned $3 million or more from such enterprises as selling wheat germ.

Seriously, all generational stereotypes aside, Krawcheck tells the Times there is something about millionaires of a certain age. They consider themselves self-made, she says, and want their kids and grandkids to find their own ways.

Barely a third of the boomers surveyed said their kids would be able to "handle" an inheritance. It's a matter of never trust anyone under 30. At least 45 percent of boomers doubt their offspring will reach financial maturity until they're at least 35 years old.

More than half say they haven't revealed the extent of their wealth to their children, the Times reports, and 15 percent haven't disclosed anything at all about their financial status.

That's because 24 percent fear their children would become lazy, while 20 percent worry they'd make poor decisions and 20 percent think they'd squander their inheritance. Possibly on Lady Gaga albums and stylish water pipes used for, uh, smoking tobacco.

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