Here at KCT when browsing the news lately we came across a rather alarming piece in The Telegraph, stating that middle-aged people will unfortunately not be able to rely on a windfall inheritance to aid any financial woes, as they will be retired by the time any money comes through. It seems that the age at which British adults tend to receive inheritance money is heading into the 60's, with experts predicting that it spells the demise of "traditional inheritance."
With life expectancy increasing, there are more and more cases of people living well into their nineties, meaning that inheritance is often spent on large care bills and other living expenses – resulting in fewer and fewer people having anything much left to leave to their children upon their death.
It has therefore become more common for the elderly to leave what little they do have to any grandchildren, rather than their direct offspring – bypassing an entire generation. In 1999, statistics show the average age for inheritance was just below 53, however within the next decade this will rise to 58.
Ashley Seager, co-founder of the Intergenerational Foundation, said that "wealth is cascading up the generations, but today's retirees are spending more and living longer, meaning they have less to pass on."
Another reason cited for this change in "traditional inheritance" is the age at which mothers gave birth between 1917 and 1931; before the end of the First World War, women gave birth at around 29 years old, but by 1931 this fell to 27.5, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows. Combined with longer life expectancies, this has significantly contributed to the delay in the date at which inheritance is bequeathed and received by descendants and relatives.
What do you think the long-term effects of this delay will be?