1 in 3 Americans are depending on an inheritance

This was fascinating to me. Over 30% of Americans are planning on, and in fact depending on family money for long term financial stability, including their retirement. Honestly this stat gets me a little fired up.

While as we always say, the devil is in the details and it is hard to generalize/life is complicated, but at a “high level” this type of state stinks of entitlement. Is someone really depending on the money left to them from say a hard working parent, who maybe made it on their own? Now of course, maybe the parent inherited money too or something…as we say it can be complicated. But depending on family money/inheritance or really the hard work of someone else is just wrong.

We have reported multiple times on the low savings rate in this country, the fact people live above their means and spend to “keep up” with the Jones. So Americans chase materialism, and then hope mommy or daddy will “come to their” rescue after they in fact are dead? They are hoping for some inheritance in their parents will? Ughh…. No wonder I read stories about siblings and families breaking apart as they fight over the money their parents had. Does anyone even miss their parents after they die, or just squabble of the “spoils”.

The Merrill Report shows this breakout by “generation”. As far as who is depending on an inheritance, the data shows 32% of millennials are depending on family money, 36% of Generation X-ers and 20% of baby boomers. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the true percent of people depending on an inheritance is much larger…as many people may have felt ashamed/embarrassed to admit their dependency on a survey.

I wonder if say 50 or 100 years ago the dependency on others was the same? Did my grandparents, who were immigrants, really depend on my great grandparents? Or someone else? I highly doubt it. I find it hard to believe others back in their days were depending on someone else.

Now this sense of dependency just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But I know this entitlement is not just in regards to inheritance. People use others every day for their money. There is the couple in which one of the members works hard, pushes themselves to the edge to provide, and their partner sits back and cruises. And it is gender neutral…a man can depend on a female just as much for money as a female may depend on a male.

What people do for money, and “quicker” money, can be incredible. People put out fake images to try to date and/or marry into money. There are con jobs, extortions, fraud, robberies, murders, prostitution, and other criminal acts people do for money. Who knows, maybe the number of incidents of someone killing their parent will increase, as that will allow the survivor to get that inheritance even earlier! Some dark humor….

Anyhow, fascinated to see this study from Merrill. But while it puts a bad taste in my mouth, as the same time I must honestly say I am not surprised. I suspect the true number is much higher than 33% as I read and see everyday what people will do for a few extra quick bucks…much less some inheritance.

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