Millennials are set to receive the biggest inheritance boost of any post-war generation – but the bonanza will come too late to help with their problems in the housing market.
A report by the Resolution Foundation found that young adults between 17 and 35 are set to inherit an unprecedented amount of wealth from “baby boomer” parents and grandparents who have accumulated assets.
That’s a positive for a generation which has struggled to get on the housing ladder and with new, less secure forms of work.
However, the millennials will be 61 on average before they see the inheritance handed down from their relatives, according to the foundation.
This means the transfer of wealth will come too late to solve problems faced through much of their working lives.
Divide between young and old
Millennials are only half as likely to own their own home by the age of 30 as their parents’ generation was, according to the report.
Inheritances will double over the next 20 years as asset-rich baby boomers age, peaking in 2035.
The divide between relatively wealthy older people and millennials has become a more politically potent issue in recent years as the Conservative government has looked to find ways to help younger people with housing.
The age at which people buy a house – traditionally the point at which some people transition towards Conservative ideas – has been advancing, leaving the government more reliant on older, often retired people.
Resolution Foundation’s senior policy analyst Laura Gardiner said: “Older generations have benefited hugely from the big increases in household wealth in Britain over recent decades.
“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.
“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.”
• This article was originally published in our sister title iNews.
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