Over-50s prioritise leaving a legacy over spending today

Written by staff reporter

Over 50s are prioritising leaving an inheritance for their children over spending on themselves, according to research carried out on behalf of the financial services provider Saga Money.

A survey of just over 2,000 UK adults conducted for Saga by the polling firm Populus also found that, while retired people wanted to save in order to pass on an inheritance, their children would rather they spent their money on living today. More than eight in ten children said they would rather their parents spent their money in retirement than leave them an inheritance, but a similar proportion of parents said they were concerned about leaving an inheritance for their children.

The research found that half of parents believed it was important to leave an inheritance for their children, although this sentiment weakened with age. Saga speculated this could have been a result of the reality of later life financial positions hitting home or parents seeing their children becoming less dependent as they grew older.

Londoners were found to believe most in the importance of leaving something behind for their children, with 63 per cent prioritising leaving an inheritance. People living in the East Midlands, meanwhile, believed they were the most dependent on receiving an inheritance.

One in five respondents from the East Midlands said their financial future was dependent on receiving money passed on from their parents. This compared with one in seven nationally.

Just a quarter of people aged over 50 said they planned to spend their money to ensure they had a good retirement, rather than leaving it to their children as an inheritance. A third said that they did not think they would have anything left to pass on.

The study found that property was the biggest component of potential inheritances. Seven out of ten parents said the bulk of the inheritance they would leave to their children would come from their home, rising to three quarters of those aged 50 or over. Almost half of parents said savings would form a large proportion of their children’s inheritance.

Forty per cent of over-50s, meanwhile, expressed a desire to make lifetime gifts to their families, for example by helping with house deposits or wedding costs.

Saga Equity Release Advice Service head Alex Edmans commented: “For those who would like to leave something behind they should realistically consider how best to use the money they have to make sure they have enough to fulfil their retirement goals and have something left for later life care, as well as what to leave for their children.”

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