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Younger generations put off saving as they expect to inherit £1.2trn

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
29/06/2018
Almost a third of those expecting to receive a substantial inheritance admit to putting off saving and ‘live for the now’ because they have a windfall coming.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of 25-45-year-olds expect to receive an inheritance from their parents or grandparents. This equates to 11 million people in the UK.

Nearly half of this number (5.1 million), expect to receive at least £50,000 in fixed assets or money, with the average value standing at £233,000.

The ‘Generation game report’ from Sanlam UK suggests those aged under-45 expect to receive 1.2trn from parents and grandparents in the next 30 years.

But, four in 10 of those expecting an inheritance haven’t yet spoken to the gifting party about their plans. Sanlam said this could reveal a mismatch between expectation and reality.

Further, younger generations could end up being over-reliant on their expected windfall.

Almost a third (31%) of those 25-45-year-olds surveyed admit to putting off saving and “living in the now” because they know they have money coming to them. A similar number (34%) said they will be reliant on their inheritance to help with their finances in the future.

However, a quarter said the inheritance will be used to pay off debt, while 34% said the money will go towards buying a property, 34% said they will save or invest the amount.

Other uses included setting up a trust (23%), starting a business (15%), and using it to retire early (17%).

Sanlam UK CEO, Jonathan Polin, said the report highlights the scale of intergenerational wealth transfer that the UK is set to see over the next few decades.

“This level of inheritance is unprecedented, and its transfer presents both opportunities and challenges for the financial services industry and society more generally.

“Clearly, the recipients of this wealth – many of whom straddle the line between millennials and generations Xers – are relying on their inheritance to act as a financial panacea. This is understandable in the context of rising debt levels, stagnant wage growth, and spiralling property costs, all of which have had a deleterious effect on disposable income.

“That said, overreliance on inheritance could be risky, especially if it affects the younger generation’s level of engagement with savings and investments today. As a first step, families need to have full and frank conversations about inheritance – this will help ensure younger generations have a realistic expectation of what they are to receive and can prepare accordingly.”

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