Sorry kids, the boomers aren’t leaving what you thought they were.

Great piece from Insider:

The myth of the Great Boomer Wealth Transfer

When my husband’s grandmother turned 87, our family realized it was time for us to take over her affairs. Grandma Sue was ailing and recently widowed, so we decided that it was best for her to turn over her finances. Between retirement savings and the proceeds from the sale of her house, she had about $250,000 in assets at the time. She told my husband that he would inherit all of it. On the face of it, Grandma Sue’s generosity seemed like it would be a huge financial help for our family since the money was just about enough to pay off our mortgage. But my husband wasn’t banking on a windfall.  

Grandma Sue was able to cover the cost of assisted living with the income she was receiving from Social Security and the income on her savings. But after six years, she needed round-the-clock care and eventually was moved into a nursing home. The transition was tough and the nursing home wasn’t cheap, but it was necessary to keep her comfortable. Eventually, Grandma Sue dipped into her principal to keep up with the bills, and after eight years, she had gone through the majority of her assets. At that point, she qualified for Medicaid, which covered the cost of her care. But that left my husband’s inheritance at about $2,000, the maximum amount of assets you could have at the time to go on Medicaid. 

We were happy that Grandma Sue had enough money to afford a good quality of life — she was able to get the kind of care she needed during her last years. That said, $2,000 is peanuts compared to the roughly $250,000 she had expected to pass on. Instead of paying off our mortgage, we used the money to replace our dining-room windows. 

As the boomer generation hits their twilight years, the question of what will happen to their money has become a source of fascination and consternation for economists, estate planners, and families across the country. Boomers hold a massive amount of wealth: The 55.8 million Americans over 65, about 17% of the population, hold half of America’s wealth — $96.4 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. The general assumption is that as this older generation dies, that money will trickle down to younger generations and give cash-strapped families a leg up. Consider it the Great Boomer Wealth Transfer — when their parents or grandparents die, millions of Gen Xers, millennials, and Gen Zers could receive a financial windfall that will help them catch up financially. But it isn’t that simple. 

Death, they say, is the great equalizer. But even death can’t offset wealth inequality. Most of the money held by America’s older generations will get eaten up by long-term care and end-of-life costs, and what remains will mostly end up in the hands of other already-wealthy people. Instead of an inheritance boom, the reality is that most Americans will not receive a vast fortune to ameliorate their grief. 

This entry was posted in Demographics, Economics, National Real Estate, Where's the Beef?. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Sorry kids, the boomers aren’t leaving what you thought they were.

  1. Juice Box says:

    Numero uno

  2. Jim says:

    This story sounds exactly like my mom, she had over $400,000 @ 88 but by 90 she needed assisted living care ( at 8,000 a month) and for a few months even went to full nursing care @$12,000 a month (when she fell and broke her hip). Now at 98 she has used all the money and we have applied for Medicaid. Instead of any inheritance I am picking up all miscellaneous charges. I am not complaining just stating facts.

    I am fortunate to be able to do this, but 10 years ago I never thought this would have happened. Ironically her father lived to 109, and my moms only problems are she is wheel chair bound and hard of hearing. Mom may outlive me LOL.

  3. BRT says:

    Had to stop by a farm in Freehold to pick up peppers yesterday on my way to Wall. The amount of homes that went up along Rt 33 and at the 33/34 circle is massive.

  4. Fast Eddie says:

    The wealth transfer thing is hit or miss. Boomers should start transferring assets to the kids every few years. However, you cannot enter an assisted lived or nursing facility until after five years of gifting. Speak to an elder care lawyer about a trust as well. It’s more complicated but it can be an option. Elder care lawyer fees are ~ 10 grand if you proceed but will give you the consultation for free. It’s also important to understand the difference between assisted living and nursing facilities when it comes to income taxes. Nursing facilities are total medical expenses so there’s a huge difference. Selfish Boomers!! Give up that money!!

  5. leftwing says:

    Really poor financial planning….Medicaid Asset Protection Trust folks…..

  6. leftwing says:

    “Selfish Boomers!! Give up that money!!”

    Fuck that. If you have enough to put into a Trust it means you have been supporting the unproductive parts of society (Medicaid recipient demographic) for a generation or two, basically your entire working life.

    Only fair you dip back into that same pool at the end of your life, lol.

    Likely a decade ago or better I did the math for one of my better years on here….the portion of my taxes that went to the poor supported a lot of families. Never even got a Christmas card, let alone a thank you….ungrateful fuckers lol.

  7. 3b says:

    Fast: Even with a trust in place you have children that are taking advantage of their parents and resorting to all sorts of shocking behavior to benefit themselves. You might not believe it, but it’s true. If there is a few kids involved it usually is 2 or 3 uniting against 1 to get what they want. However, they all don’t have the same agenda necessarily, and then turn against each other.

  8. Phoenix says:

    Don’t forget about the children’s spouses or Mother in Laws, all who are salivating like Pavlov’s dogs when they smell money.

    Bunch of capitalists.

  9. LAX says:

    I’m not counting on a thing. Just like in life, my folks got me through college. Their duty ended there. I once gave my dad a very cool Mustang (09 Bullitt ) which he loves to this very day. It was the Father’s Day present of a lifetime made possible by a very good year we had….I said, “You made a lot of sacrifices for me growing up”. Figured I owed you!

  10. BRT says:

    My uncles who never worked a day in their life all lined up to try to swipe my grandmothers money years before she passed away. I’ve seen relatives come in and illegally transfer power of attorney to grab assets. There was a great article a few years back where some guy, rather than go into a nursing home, just continually booked a Holiday Inn or something like that. Basically, his room got cleaned whenever he needed, he ate free continental breakfast, ordered out lunch/dinner and was good.

  11. BRT says:

    Whoopsie daisy

    ABC News
    Older adults who received last year’s COVID booster and a high-dose version of the flu vaccine in the same visit may have a potential increased risk of stroke, according to a new FDA-funded study. However, experts urge that these results were preliminary.

  12. LAX says:

    The Apple Watch violates patents owned by California-based Masimo, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled on Thursday [PDF]. The federal agency issued a limited exclusion order for the smartwatches, meaning the Apple Watch is in jeopardy of an import ban.

    The ITC’s ruling upholds a January ruling that found that the Apple Watch infringed on a Masimo patent. The exclusion period recommended on Thursday is supposed to go into effect after 60 days, during which time President Joe Biden can overturn the ruling. Biden previously declined to veto an ITC ruling that found the Apple Watch violated patents of a different company, AliveCor.

  13. Hughesrep says:

    OT. More Jets- Giants! What did people do to deserve that.

  14. Jim says:

    Hughesrep says:
    October 29, 2023 at 4:18 pm
    OT. More Jets- Giants! What did people do to deserve that.

    One of worst games I ever watched, Wilson should not be playing in the NFL. It should have ended in a tie…both teams are just that bad.

  15. Chicago says:

    LAX: you are going to enjoy Depeche Mode in December. I just saw them for the second time at MSG. The difference between April and now is pretty big. It was a good show in April, but is was only the 10th show after 5 years. Now they have worked everything out on the European stadiums and arenas. It was fucking fantastic. I won’t spoil anything.

  16. LAX says:

    I’m looking forward to it. Best!

  17. Libturd says:

    Shave your back and get a giant tattoo.

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