Millennials to enjoy ‘inheritance boom’

Millennials are likely to enjoy the biggest “inheritance boom” of any post-war generation, but it will not be enough to solve the housing crisis, a report has said.

The Resolution Foundation, a British think tank dedicated to improving families’ living standard, says millennials will benefit massively from properties left by older generations.

Inheritances will double over the next 20 years as so-called baby boomers – born between 1946 and 1965 – become older, the group said in a report.

“While the millennials have done far less well in accumulating their own assets, they are likely to benefit from an inheritance boom in the decades ahead,” said Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation.

“This is likely to be very welcome news for those millennials, including some from poorer backgrounds, who in the past would have been unlikely to receive bequests.

“They have the good fortune to benefit from the luck of the baby boomer generation.”

Millennials are born between 1981 and 2000.

Housing

Image: The boom will hit too late to help millennials get on the housing ladder

The think tank adds that older generations “have benefited hugely from the big increases in household wealth in Britain over recent decades”, and that almost two thirds of millennials aged between 20 to 35 have parents who own property.

By contrast, fewer than two in five adults born in the 1930s received an inheritance.

But, according to the report, the inheritance boom will fall short of solving a housing crisis and help millennials get on the ladder.

“Inheritance is not the silver bullet that will get a whole new generation on the housing ladder or address growing wealth gaps in society,” Ms Gardiner said.

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“Even for those millennials who will receive a bequest, it’s unlikely to come when they’re coupling up, having children, and trying to buy a family home when the extra wealth would be much needed, but as they approach retirement instead.”

Based on their parents’ life expectancy, the Foundation estimated that the most likely age at which millennials could inherit property would be 61.