Retirees breaking inheritance traditions

Traditional ways of passing on inheritance could be ‘dying out’, a report by HSBC has suggested.

The survey finds that just one third of people have received an inheritance despite 58% of working-age people planning to leave one.

Increasing numbers of retirees are choosing to provide their loved ones with a ‘living inheritance’ of regular financial assistance while they’re still alive.

Of the surveyed retirees:

  • 50% are supporting family and friends financially
  • 19% regularly provide for their adult children
  • 9% are doing the same for their grandchildren.

The study reveals changing attitudes towards the tradition of inheritance, with just 5% of respondents believing it important to pass as much wealth as possible to the next generation.

Benefactors are beginning to feel the effects of providing ‘living inheritance’ to their families:

  • 53% have not been able to achieve what they wanted to
  • 22% worry about not being able to support their families
  • 18% think they may end up relying on their families for financial support.

Caroline Connellan, head of wealth at HSBC UK, said:

“This report shows that withdrawals from the bank of mum and dad may actually be affecting the standard of living of many retirees. New pension freedoms have made savings more accessible, but people should carefully consider the right balance between helping their family and making sure they have sufficient income through retirement.”

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