Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Boomer Inheritance

How has the Great Recession affected the long anticipated inheritance of the baby-boom generation? According to a new study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, the total amount still to be inherited by the baby-boom generation fell from $6.0 trillion in June 2006 to $5.2 trillion in June 2010 as stock and housing values declined.

Overall, two-thirds of boomer households will ultimately receive an inheritance. According to the researchers, $2.4 trillion has already been inherited by the 17 percent of boomer households that have so far received an inheritance. Median value: $78,000 per household. Fifty-eight percent of boomers still have at least one living parent, so most have yet to receive an inheritance, say the researchers, who estimate the median amount still to be inherited at $47,000 per household.

The researchers caution that the amounts to be inherited by boomers "are typically not large enough to be life-changing. Therefore, boomer households need to make many of their key financial decisions before they ever receive any inheritance."

Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, "How Important Are Inheritances for Baby Boomers?"

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