A report by HSBC identified a “living inheritance” trend among Americans, as 43% of retirees said they were providing regular financial support to another person. Among those who are still working, 62% provide regular support to another person.
Almost a quarter of workers said they would rather spend or give away all their assets while they’re still alive, rather than pass it on as part of an inheritance.
“Living inheritances add another dimension to the already complex financial pressures faced by retirees. A desire to support loved ones during your lifetime is of course understandable, but for many people this comes at a cost both to their retirement dreams and to their ability to leave a legacy,” Andrew Ireland, executive vice president and head of premier banking for HSBC Bank USA, said in a statement.
In fact, 59% of retirees said they had to give up on at least one of their retirement goals. A quarter said they worry about not being able to support their loved ones financially, and 23% are worried about needing support of their own.
“It’s essential that people of all ages adequately prepare for life’s later stages. Even the smallest amount saved today can contribute to the lifestyle you want in retirement and the legacy you hope to leave. Those who fail to plan may find that any kind of inheritance is unlikely and also that a comfortable retirement is beyond reach,” Ireland said.
Some investors are relying too heavily on an inheritance, the survey found. Twenty-nine percent of retirees who have received or think they will receive an inheritance believe it will at least partly fund their retirement. Almost half of workers feel the same.
“People are putting their future finances at risk by relying on an inheritance from retired loved ones, as this may not always be forthcoming.” Less than a third of respondents said they’d received an inheritance from someone.
— Read Will Low Returns Wreck Retirement? on ThinkAdvisor.