A Generation Who Gets Inheritance, Destructive or Helpful?

Craig HueyEconomics, Family, Life, Recession/Inflation 3 Comments

Americans have worked hard to build wealth.

It wasn’t until the 1960s and 70s that generational wealth spread beyond the wealthy to the middle and upper class.

The “Greatest Generation” worked hard and sacrificed and built a foundation for those born in the 50s and 60s to be able to go to college, to have some help from their parents in starting off, and maybe even help them buy a home.

Many of those born in the 1990s and beyond have been the unusual recipients of wealth never before imagined, as parents have left money to them.

How much money?

And what has been the result?

Here are the stats:

As of 2022, 1 in 5 US households received an inheritance.

For people 70 and over, the rate jumps to 2 out of 5.

The “average American” has inherited about $58,000. But that’s the average… Most, not really much of anything.

But a few lucky ones who inherit, on average, receive $266,000.

Those who inherit in their 70s receive, on average, $344,000.

Some people have used the money wisely– They’ve invested it. They’ve saved it. They’ve started businesses with it. They’ve bought homes with it.

Others have squandered it. They stay at home. They do nothing. They spend it. And it turns out to be more destructive than helpful.

These “inheritors” are having an “invisible” impact on the unemployment figures and overall GDP because they are spending money and buying things but not making money.

They’re not in the workforce and not creating wealth… This is creating a skew in the unemployment figures.

What are your observations about those who have inherited money?

Let me know what you think. Email me at craig@craighuey.com.

Comments 3

  1. Well, God blessed them with parents/relatives who loved them enough to leave the recipients a part of themselves in money or gifts.
    The freedom we have as Americans is that we can do whatever we want with our inheritance and should not be ridiculed by such comments as “squandered it”. Sounds to me that you think the government needs to handle the money/gifts because these people are a little on the stupid side.
    Most problems we have concerning money IS the government. I thought WE were the government!
    Unless I misunderstood your comments, I think you’re leaning toward the left.

    1. I know personally a family member who hasn’t worked but maybe 3 years total in his adult life and who’s age is approximately 60 years old. And yes, he was the sole inheritor of his parents estate. And what does he do with it? Nothing. No charitable giving, no interest in the financial conditions or stability of siblings, it’s just all his. “Squandering” is simply wasting the fortunes he didn’t work for on no one but his little old self, and yes, it’s his “right” to do so. The basement and the rest of the house is now all his too.
      This is just one example for sure, but in this age of entitlement where I get what I want without cost to me… yep, those adult children are seen everywhere.
      And finally, to think the author is leaning left with his opinions, and to think the use of the term “squandering”is “ridiculing” anyone, me thinks you might have misunderstood his point. Loving isn’t the same as enabling with respect to inheritance and what one has the choice to do with it.

      1. Thank you Mike Well said… Obviously, I’m not talking about government at all. I would never do so as all my past writings prove … It’s something every parent and grandparent must think about as to how their money is supposed to be used .::each one that’s an individual choice… But we must act wisely, and, my observations are reflected in the article above

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