Should You Count on Inheritance When Considering Retirement Funding?
I am getting to where I find these surveys almost silly and ridiculous. First, they interview 1000 people as if that is a real sample size representative of America. Second, some of the metrics don't make sense. However, they are useful because they bring up good discussion points. Here are survey results from Merril Edge.
".... according to new data from Merrill Edge, which found that a third of "mass affluent" Americans are waiting on an inheritance to achieve financial stability.The study includes responses from 1,000 participants and defines the "mass affluent" as those with investable assets between $50,000 and $250,000."
Mass affluent defined as individuals with assets between $50,000 and $250,000? I am not even going to try and dissect that one. I would define affluent much differently. However, I digress.
The question is...should you depend upon inheritance as a part of your overall retirement plan?
I have found that people treat inheritance 1 of 2 ways. First, it is taboo to even think of considering it. After all, you look like an opportunist banking on your parents dying in order to help fund your retirement. Second, your parents have held the family assets as a secret thus leaving their adult children in the dark. I would suggest that most adult children don't have a clue as to what their parents have in retirement assets. That in itself is a whole other topic.
Why not add it to some degree to your overall retirement plan expectations?
After all, you could have $1,000,000 in the bank today and not be able to count 100% completely on it being there at retirement. Everything is a speculation when it comes to retirement planning.
Don't fall prey to the guilt of considering financial gain because your future inheritance. Truth be told, most parents are glad that they can leave something for their kids or even the well being of their grand kids. Obviously, it comes down to where your heart lies. The highest percentage of people are not wishing that their parents die for them to gain financially.
Now, I wouldn't be banking on your inheritance to 100% care of you completely. Be smart about projections of what may or might not be there. If you don't have any clue what might be there for inheritance you are counting fools gold if you are even remotely considering it in your retirement calculations. If you add these numbers in they need to be scaled down and conservatively considered.
Remember, retirement assets, both present and future, are no more guaranteed to be there then a potential inheritance. It makes sense to consider them to some extent in a future retirement calculation.