Millennials Expecting Inheritance Windfall May Be Disappointed

Nearly 40% of Metro Vancouver Millennials Expect $300,000 or More

Vancouver, BC – (Marketwired – February 29, 2016) – While the vast majority of parents expect to leave an inheritance behind, many Metro Vancouver children have unrealistic expectations about the amount they will receive, warns a report released today by Vancity credit union.

The report, Great Expectations: wealth transfer between generations in British Columbia, found more than 39 per cent of Metro Vancouver children expect to receive an inheritance of more than $300,000, while only 12 per cent of parents anticipate leaving a legacy over that amount.

The report found that a contributing factor may be that less than half of Metro Vancouver parents have spoken with their kids about what to expect in terms of inheritances or wealth transfer.

Meanwhile, 60 per cent of B.C. parents surveyed said they have already provided a portion of their wealth to their children, helping with down payments for a house or car, or paying off student loans or other debts.

The report also found that:

  • the median asset value of B.C. households 65 years and older is about $594,400
  • the average inheritance in B.C. in 2012 was $137,800, while the median was a mere $50,200, suggesting that the vast majority of inheritances were less than $100,000
  • 85 per cent of male children and 71 per cent of female children aged 18 to 34 expect to receive an inheritance
  • 66 per cent of B.C. parents expect to leave $100,000 or less to each child
  • 78 per cent of B.C. parents aged 65 or older have drafted a will
  • eight per cent of B.C. parents have not drafted a will, consulted a wealth planner about inheritance or talked to their children about financial issues or inheritance.

Recommendations are directed not only to parents and children to plan and discuss their financial future, but also to employers and financial institutions to encourage retirement savings.

“It can be difficult for parents to talk their kids about their death, the state of their finances or any potential inheritances. But these are important conversations, especially if children have unrealistic expectations or aren’t taking responsibility for their own financial future.” – Sophie Salcito, investment advisor at Vancity

Additional information:

Report: Great Expectations: wealth transfer between generations in British Columbia

Poll: Insights West methodology, highlights, and data tables

About Vancity:

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 509,000 member-owners and their communities through 59 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay. As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $18.6 billion in assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from January 22 to January 27, 2015, among 403 adult British Columbians who are “older than 65 and parents of at least one child” and 401 adult British Columbians who are “aged 18-34 and have at least one parent aged 65 and over”. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error — which measures sample variability — is +/- 4.9 percentage points for each sample, nineteen times out of twenty.

For further information, please contact:

Lorraine Wilson
Vancity
T: 778-837-0394
mediarelations@vancity.com

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

 

Photograph: KMR Photography