The data do not look encouraging. According to a survey done by Merrill Lynch (MER), in 2009 54% of investors with $250,000 or more of investable assets said that leaving an inheritance was a high priority; today, that figure is down to 41%.
Today show financial editor Jean Chatzky went on the air to explain that decline, citing the drain on families' finances caused by the Great Recession, as well as increasing lifespans. "People are living so much longer," Chatzky explains, "that they're worried they won't have enough money for themselves, let alone their kids."
"People are living so much longer that they're worried they won't have enough money for themselves, let alone their kids." As The Wall Street Journal recently reported, the inheritance pool for baby boomers has fallen by 13%, potentially jeopardizing the finances of those who had assumed that they would benefit from their parents' estates.
Watch the video below for Chatzky's advice on how to safely navigate these difficult issues, including concrete steps like reverse mortgages and long-term care insurance, as well as more general measures like intergenerational communication.