Baby Boomers to Inherit Record Amount

By Lang, Susan S. | Human Ecology Forum, Fall 1994 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Baby Boomers to Inherit Record Amount

Lang, Susan S., Human Ecology Forum

The "baby boom" generation stands to inherit the biggest bounty ever--more than $10 trillion--an average of $90,000 each (in 1989 dollars), according to a new study that updates a study two years ago with current figures.

"These inheritances will have more impact on personal wealth than inheritances have ever had before," says Robert Avery, professor of consumer economics and housing.

However, only about one-quarter of the boomers will actually inherit more than $50,000, because the wealth is becoming increasingly concentrated among the wealthy, who tend to have fewer children, Avery reports.

"In other words, the baby boom inheritances are likely to exacerbate wealth inequality," he says.

In looking at the impact that the bequests or potential bequests have on the spending and saving of baby boomers, Avery and colleague Michael Rendall, also in the Department of Consumer Economics and Housing, found individuals who already had received inheritances had less noninherited wealth than expected. They evidently were spending down their inheritances.

"Baby boomers who expect inheritances, on the other hand, actually save more than their counterparts who do not expect inheritances," Avery says. One reason may be because of the great uncertainty involved with the timing and carving up of inheritances. The other reason, Avery says, is that baby boomers who expect inheritances may be coming from wealthier families and already have more money to save than those who expect no inheritance.

The study analyzed data from the 1989 Survey of Consumer Finances, the third in a series of recent tri-annual surveys of household wealth conducted by the Federal Reserve Board and other federal agencies.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Baby Boomers to Inherit Record Amount


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?