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Boomer Wealthy Saving Inheritance For Themselves: US Trust

Man on a yacht
Man on a yacht

You can't take it with you. Many children of wealthy baby boomers won't be taking it either.

A US Trust survey of 457 high-net-wealth individuals released Tuesday found 51 percent said it is not important to leave their kids an inheritance, even though their children's success is an important measure of their own success.

"These are mainly self-made people," 50 percent of whom said they paid a price in personal relationships and possibly their own health when they made their wealth, US Trust President Keith Banks told CNBC. So they think "I’m going to get a return on that investment for myself, number one, and maybe my children down the road."

Among the study's other findings: 75 percent said their wealth is the result of their own focus and hard work, 52 percent have not fully disclosed their wealth to their children and 55 percent intend to actively volunteer after retirement.

In fact, Banks said, many of those surveyed expect to use their wealth to maintain their current lifestyle for 20 to 30 years after retirement.

"This is the 'forever young' generation. So they don’t think like our parents did" that when you hit 65 you relax in Florida, he said. "These are people that are serial entrepreneurs, they’re looking forward to starting new businesses, they want to volunteer, they want leisure time, they want to travel. It’s almost a new beginning for a lot of them. It’s also a way, in their minds, to stay young and feel young."

For those looking at long-term maintenance of that young lifestyle, Banks said the investment strategy is usually a balance between fixed-income assets and equities. Those happy with their current level of wealth and want to maintain it tend to add more conservative fixed-income instruments in their investments.

But if you were hoping to inherit from your parents, consider: While 88 percent of those surveyed have an estate plan in place, about 39 percent acknowledge their estate plans are not comprehensive and 43 percent do not have a financial plan that factors in the impact of long-term health care on family wealth.