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Inheritance Issues: The Risk of Unreasonable Expectations

You know that scene in the first Austin Powers movie where the security guard sees the steamroller coming from about 100 feet away and doesn't bother to avoid it?

That's a good way to illustrate a new study by TD Ameritrade involving members of Generation Z (age 13–22).

That study shows almost 40% of Z-ers expect to receive an inheritance from their parents and thus don't believe they need to save for retirement. There is a very obvious problem with this. It's viewable from a mile away, yet they aren't bothering to do anything about it.

In a word: dangerous. In two more accurate words: very dangerous. Sounds like Generation Z is catching too many Z's—and if they're not careful, they will get a rude wake-up call.

Even if these are kids we're talking about, it's downright insane to think that you don't need to save money for your golden years. By not taking care of it yourself, you leave your older self at the mercy of "if this works out" or "if that happens." What if it doesn't?

If a child says they don't need to save, inform them of why they do. No matter how much your parents seem to have, you should never assume that you'll get something. Too many things can happen between now and Dirt Day. What if they spend all the money that they have earned? What if it all gets eaten up in nursing home costs? Heck, what if Mom and Dad decide to leave all they have to charity?

You'll be stuck with no retirement savings (which you can control) and nothing from your parents (which you can't). Don't even put yourself in the same area code as a plan like that.

The best thing a person can do is save for retirement as though they will get no help from anyone. Not the government, not family, not a pension from work. If you set yourself up to be rich when you are older, you won't miss those things if they don't happen. If they do, you'll have even more money.

Whether your long-term goal is investing or paying off debt, making a monthly budget is the best way to achieve it. When every dollar has a name, you decide your own future. Check out our latest tool to help you get out of debt and build wealth!

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.