“Great wealth transfer” has joined “silver tsunami” in the lexicon of aging America. It refers to the wave of wealth, estimated to be in the trillions, which will flow from the oldest generation in the coming decades. Yet evidence suggests that many Americans are ill prepared to handle an inheritance.Indeed, studies indicate that many recipients quickly dispense with their inheritance. One study found that one third of people who received an inheritance had negative savings within two years of the event. “The vast majority of people blew through it quickly,” said Jay Zagorsky, an economist and research scientist at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and author of the study, which was based on survey data from the Federal Reserve and a National Longitudinal Survey funded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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