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  1. Wealth
August 30, 2012

Young people more cautious about wealth than parents, survey says

By Spear's

Young people are more cautious about their long term wealth than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations, a new survey shows

Young people are more cautious about their long term wealth than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations, a new survey shows.

They have a ‘heightened awareness of potential threats to family wealth’, according to a US Trust survey of 642 American high net worths. These include taking care of ageing relatives, how their children will deal with their wealth and keeping their wealth private.

Nearly half of those between eighteen and 46 have made plans for their own long-term care costs, less than Baby Boomers (47-66) and those 67-plus, but far more of the youngest group have made plans for their relatives. This might reflect duty or selflessness, or the fact that older people have fewer ageing relatives to take care.

Attitudes to passing on wealth are also markedly different between the generations: 60 per cent of the 67-plus generation see leaving an inheritance as an expression of love, while Baby Boomers (55 per cent) and the young (53 per cent) think that it is primarily the protection of family wealth.

Of those who did not want to leave an inheritance, 57 per cent thought each generation should earn its own wealth and 54 per cent that the money was better used during their heirs’ earlier years. One in three Baby Boomers preferred giving the money to charity, double the level in the other groups.

A certain level of caution about telling children how much wealth a family had was evident in the survey. 55 per cent of Baby Boomers – who might be expected to have adult children of their own – had only disclosed a little about their wealth, while 32 per cent of the young had made no disclosure at all, in part because their children are not old enough but also because they felt it would harm their work ethic. Fear of publicity and traditional taciturnity were also factors.

Caution was also clear in questions about privacy. 37 per cent of the young – double the Baby Boomers and quadruple the 67-plus – worried that their wealth negatively affected their privacy. The 67-plus group displayed much higher levels of worry: 92 per cent feared financial ID theft, 91 per cent intrusion on privacy, 86 per cent information security breach. The youngest group, by contrast, was much more aware of the risk factors, such as GPS-enabled tracking and family social media use.

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Read ‘US Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth’ here

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