There was a story in a recent edition
of USA Today that said the current (youngest) generation isn't too
worried about retirement funds as they're pretty sure they'll
have an inheritance waiting for them.
This is in contrast to a poll said the
parents of this generation had nothing saved up and didn't plan on
leaving anything behind, figuring whatever they had would get eaten
up by late in life medical bills.
I sense a disconnect here.
Inheritance has always been an abstract
thought in my head. Probably because I grew up in a world where you
said, "Hey, we got all the bills paid! We got $37 to live on until
the next paycheck, so let's be careful when we're out."
And two things assured me I wouldn't
have to worry about leaving anything behind. One, I made the decision
to not have kids, and two, it quickly became obvious my income would
never get very far above the low five figure income range.
You can't leave behind what you don't
But what about these modern day kids,
age 13-22, who think they'll never have to worry about getting
medicine and where their next meal will come from when they get old? According to the story, 40 percent of them think money will never be
a problem, whether they're young or old.
Are they spoiled brats? Forty percent
is a huge number. They can't all be the children of one percenters.
Some seem to believe mommy and daddy
have large life insurance policies because they want to make their
precious ones can stop working at 42.
A psychiatrist interviewed for the
story said a lot of it undoubtedly has to do with their young age.
They either are children of one percenters, and will get a huge
inheritance, or mommy and daddy sacrificed everything and the kids
never noticed their "irritating" parents wore the same clothes
for seven years straight.
I could buy that. When I was a kid,
living in a paycheck-to-paycheck type world, I wouldn't have known
what an inheritance was. But I did know kids who truly and honestly
believed not only would they get mom's car when they turned 16, but
one day the house they lived in would be theirs. They planned to sell
it, of course, and buy something on the lake.
I doubt I'll be around to see it, but
starting in about 40-45 years, there are going to some disappointed
young'uns running around. Mom and dad are increasingly the only
support some of these kids have when they become adults. And that's
usually after they've spent $100,000 of their parents money getting
a college degree that doesn't help out the way they expect.
And if mom and dad aren't even out of
their forties yet, they've got a lot of self supporting left to do.
You might have a combined $100,000 a year household income, but if it
takes $97,000 a year to live your life, it would take a hundred years
to save up the kind of money kids are expecting to inherit.
This is nothing new. Twenty years ago,
I knew someone younger (and I was only 25) who thought there was no
reason you shouldn't be making $75,000 a year by the time you were
22. Those jobs were out there. She just knew it. You just had to
I haven't seen that person in many
years, so I don't know if she ever found that job, though a couple
of years after that, she had moved back in with her parents.
Many, many years ago, families never
really separated and people would spend their lives in the houses, or
on the properties, where they were born. It was just considered a
family thing and led to the saying, "You can always go home."
That doesn't really exist any more.
Just like an inheritance. Maybe this new generation should learn a
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