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Intergenerational wealth bottleneck leaves under 35s in critical life decision limbo

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Young people are holding back from making major life decisions until they receive an inheritance.

Under 35s are waiting to receive money from parents or grandparents before they buy a home, start a family, or deals with debts, according to Killik & Co.

A survey by the investment company found millennials are highly reliant on their parents’ wealth to get on with their own lives. Without first receiving their inheritance, 59 per cent of under 35s feel unable to make their first home purchase, and nearly a quarter (22 per cent) say they are postponing starting a family.

The study also shows a disturbing disconnect between the expectations of younger and older generations when it comes to wealth transfer. Only 7.6 per cent of over 65s plan on passing the majority of any inheritance during their lifetime, but twice as many (13 per cent) under 35s expect to receive their inheritance during the lifetime of their older family members.

Although the survey found three-quarters (73 per cent) of those expecting to receive an inheritance consider it is essential for their financial security, it also showed that families are often avoiding the inheritance conversation.

One in five (21 per cent) of those due to inherit wealth believe a conversation about inheritance between themselves and their elder family members has taken place. However, 40 per cent of grandparents and parents feel that they have discussed the arrangements for their estate.

Svenja Keller, head of wealth planning at Killik & Co, said: “Our survey results show that families aren’t communicating properly when it comes to discussing how to pass on an inheritance. Younger people think they will receive their inheritance sooner whilst older people don’t realise the extent to which a delay in transferring wealth impacts the lives of other family members.”