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Question of the Day: Is There an Inheritance in Your Future?

By JLP | June 3, 2009

Here’s a question I don’t think I have ever asked before:

Do you expect an inheritance sometime in the future?

My wife and I don’t for a couple of reasons:

1. My grandparents have all passed away and left what little they had to their kids (my parents and their siblings). My wife’s remaining grandparents are healthy and doing great.

2. Our remaining parents are still fairly young (they were all born in 1951) and will most likely need their savings to provide for their retirements.

I think inheritances will be limited to families who have a substantial estate or maybe a family business. I think everyone else is going to spend everything they have (and more) providing for themselves during retirement.


Topics: Question of the Day | 8 Comments »

8 Responses to “Question of the Day: Is There an Inheritance in Your Future?”

  1. Jaynee Says:
    June 3rd, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    We won't have a financial inheritance that I know of. Certainly not from grandparents. My parents are nearing retirement age and are contemplating a move to downsize. At that point they have said they will be givings away the contents of their house to my sister and me. But money? Nope – I don't see that happening since our families have longevity on their side (my paternal grandmother is 95 and still dancing – literally). By the time they pass away we'll be approaching retirement age ourselves!

  2. Alex R Says:
    June 3rd, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Projected retirement costs can be vastly undercalculated. Health costs alone can dismantle anyone's lifetime earnings. >50% of all bankruptcies aren't caused by bad mortgages but because of health expenses. You may think well with the high number of uninsured, they would have to make up a significant portion. That is not the case, however. 75% of those who claim bankruptcy following a health expense had insurance at the time of their illness. Unfortunately on average americans are 2 paychecks and/or 1 illness away from bankruptcy.

  3. Ron Says:
    June 3rd, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    We're in the same boat. My parents were born in 1947 and I was born in 1966. No hope there. My wife's mother left us about $20,000 in 1992 but we squandered it as a young couple (ugh). Her Dad is pretty wealthy, but he's also remarried and wifey #2 will get it all, I'm sure. She's 25 years younger than he is …

    Grandparents are either passed away or living on social security.

  4. tom Says:
    June 3rd, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I most likely will be receiving a good sized inheritance (dad's business is doing very well). I keep telling my parents that if we (me and my siblings) get anything besides the house then they didn't spend enough on themselves.

  5. KCS Says:
    June 4th, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I fully expect an inheritance. My husband's family without a doubt will leave us money and possibly quite a bit. But my family, which is of more simpler means, will also leave us something. My parents have received two inheritances in their lives – one from an uncle with no children and one from my paternal grandmother. Neither was a large sum (one was about $10k, the other will be close to six figures once everything is settled). While my parents aren't considering themselves rich now, these are still tidy sums. But my family has always been quite careful with their money – even when preparing for retirement and old age care. This is why there have been inheritances – not great sums, but something being passed on. I think we'll see more of this than most people think.

  6. Ben Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    I expected an inheritance once, but it really made me critical of how my parents spent their money. Since, I've decided that my own financial destiny is up to me and any help that I would get from my parents would be gravy. For me, its just too much stress to think about.

  7. Christine Says:
    June 6th, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    My great-grandparents left nothing. My grandparents left my parents close to $300,000 total, accumulated via prudent investments with my grandfathers' modest salaries — one owned a store, one was a principal.

    My sister and I will probably inherit considerably from a childless aunt & uncle and our parents. Each couple had average salaries (two teachers, one RE appraiser, one engineer), but lived within their means and invested.

    There are no "estates" to speak of: no fancy cars, no investment properties, no businesses. Simple frugality wins the day for my family, and has been passed down, so that if my sister and I don't see a dime (and we do hope they use it all for themselves), we'll be fine.

  8. Slinky Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    On my side there won't be anything. There could possibly be something from fiance's parents depending on health care issues. I'm certainly not counting on anything though.