Millennials have hugely unrealistic expectations about when and how much they will inherit, according to new research.
According to the investment management firm Charles Stanley, millennials expected to be left an average £129,380 ($168,450) — but official statistics showed that the average inheritance in the U.K. is currently £48,000, while the median inheritance is £11,000.
Millennials are people are born between 1981 and 1996.
Charles Stanley polled more than one thousand U.K. millennials as well as around one thousand parents across the first week of February, finding that the top financial goal for those aged 18 to 30 was to buy a home.
The actual level of cash being passed down to a younger U.K. generation could significantly impact those relying on inheritance to get onto the property ladder. A £48,000 deposit would allow first time buyers to buy a home in 70% of Britain, while a down payment of £11,000 would limit buyers to just 43% of the country.
Only 28% of millennials believed they would be able to own a property without inheriting cash.
According to the research, millennials were also misguided when it came to the timescale of receiving their inheritance.
While the average millennial expected to receive their inheritance at the age of 50, one in seven expected to inherit money before the age of 35. But according to data from the U.K.'s Office for National Statistics, peak inheritance age is currently between 55 and 64, while researchers found the average inheritance age for today's millennials was likely to be 61.
Charles Stanley noted that as Britain's minimum pension age is 55, U.K. millennials relying on their inheritance for a deposit could be retired by the time they purchase their first property.
John Porteous, group head of distribution at Charles Stanley, said in a press release Thursday that millennials were taking a "risky" approach by depending solely on inherited wealth.
"People are living longer than ever, so relying on an inheritance to get on the housing ladder is a risky strategy as you may get less, and much later than planned," he said. "In reality, most people save and invest to get on the housing ladder — starting early and planning ahead is essential to achieving the deposit you need."