Old Mutual Wealth  

Gens X and Y grossly overestimate inheritance

Gens X and Y grossly overestimate inheritance

People between the ages of 30 and 45 may be "grossly overestimating" the amount they will receive in inheritance, according to a survey by Old Mutual Wealth.

The poll of 3,000 people in this age bracket - a group Old Mutual Wealth dubbed the "in betweeners", because they are too young to receive significant defined benefit pensions and too old to see the full benefits of auto-enrolment - found half of respondents expected to receive an inheritance of some sort.

More than a third (34 per cent) expected to receive more than £100,000 as an inheritance.

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But Old Mutual Wealth argued improvements in longevity and the resulting increases in the cost of care made it likely they would receive "substantially less" than they were expecting.

The provider cited previous research that found only 29 per cent of 50 to 75-year-olds had received or expected to receive an inheritance.

It also pointed to data from the Office for National Statistics that showed only one in 10 people inherit more than £125,000.

The research also revealed 30 to 45-year-olds were progressively putting off planning for their retirement.

Thirty-year-olds on average said they expected to start planning for their retirement in just under 10 years time.

However, the date was pushed further back the older respondents got.

The poll found 45-year-olds had, on average, still not begun planning for their retirement, and did not expect to do so for another five years.

Apart from the state pension, the most common source of expected income in retirement was a company pension.

Despite this generation's lack of planning, the survey found the majority (59 per cent) were concerned they would not be able to afford a decent standard of living in retirement.

Just 24 per cent were "confident, satisfied, calm or optimistic" about their financial future. 

Of those with a financial plan, however, this changed dramatically: 64 per cent were positive about their future.

Old Mutual Wealth proposed a number of ways to address the problems highlighted by the research, most notably an increase in auto-enrolment contributions, and more provisions for financial guidance and advice.

Paul Feeney, chief executive of Old Mutual Wealth, said: "We believe that full face-to-face advice leads to the best outcomes for people.

"Confidence and satisfaction levels increase substantially for those people who have a financial in place; so it seems that financial planning is not only good for your wealth, it is good for your wellbeing."

james.fernyhough@ft.com