UK adults hugely overestimating on inheritance money

UK adults, on average, are expecting to receive an inheritance windfall of £132,000 from their parents, according to new research from the retirement specialist, Just Group.

The research suggests the youngest generation of adults, aged between 18 and 34 years old, have the greatest expectation – saying they expect or have already received an average of £151,000 in inheritance. Those aged between the 35-54 bracket said they also expect or had already received an inheritance average of only slightly less, at £148,000.

The reality, however, could come as a shock to many UK adults, with ONS figures suggesting the average inheritance passed down by parents in the last two years has been £50,000.

Even over-55s, who are more likely to have already received an inheritance windfall from their parents, said they were expecting or had already received an average of £98,000 – a figure still well over the national average.

Group communications director at Just Group, Stephen Lowe, commented: “The rise in house prices over the last few decades seems to have left younger people pinning their hopes on receiving an inheritance windfall to help them join the property market, but the mismatch in expectation versus past reality may leave many people disappointed.

“As people live longer, they will need to fund more years of retirement – which may include paying for social care. So, it’s surprising that people are quite so confident in the size of inheritances they expect to receive.”

Over-estimating on inheritance money being passed down is potentially damaging to the property aspirations for many younger UK adults.

Just Group has also suggested that of all adults aged under 40 who said they are expecting an inheritance windfall, 98% of this entire cohort believe it will be important in helping them buy their first property.

“Families tend not to talk about money and death,” Lowe added. “But if we don’t talk about these themes it becomes very hard to make practical plans – be that getting on the property ladder or preparing for care in later life.

“It might not feel comfortable to broach these subjects, but it’s better than misunderstanding and disappointments later. It really is good to talk.”

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