Only 16 percent of parents said that they expect to provide an inheritance, says the TD Ameritrade study. The fact that many parents are scaling back on bequests does not necessarily mean that they can't afford to provide an inheritance.
Among adults with at least $100,000 in investable assets, 58 percent say leaving an inheritance is not a primary concern, according to a PNC survey. Instead, 42 percent say that saving for retirement is their primary financial goal, while passing on money to a future generation is far down the list. Only 2 percent say it is a primary financial goal.
Young adults are just starting out in life and most of them are used to having their needs taken care of by their parents, Braxdale says.
But, as research shows, many parents are helping to pay for the rising cost of a college education. And they don't expect their kids to help if they run out of money in retirement.
Kids need to know that their parents face a more risky retirement future. In the past, seniors relied on pensions, Social Security and investments. And they could count on setting aside some of their savings for their families.
Today, seniors worry that Social Security and Medicare will not always be there for them, according to PNC. And low interest rates make it harder for retirees to live off of interest and save the rest of their savings for their kids, says Stephen Pappaterra, managing director of wealth planning for PNC Wealth Management.
But their biggest concern is the rising cost of health care, because Americans are living longer. "If they live to 95," Pappaterra says, "they feel that they better have enough money to keep themselves comfortable."