- Over half want to see the benefits of their legacies in their lifetimes
- Increasing longevity leading to legacies made during lifetime
New research from Aviva1 shows that more than half of over 55s want to see the benefit of giving significant financial help to their family while they are still alive, rather than leave an inheritance in a will. The findings come as other trends suggest a move away from leaving money to family only after death.
Worries about running out of money in retirement appear to be having a lesseing impact on the choice between helping a family member onto the property ladder and leaving an inheritance.
In an earlier survey this year2, 33% said they would be uncomfortable helping a member of their family onto the property ladder, without knowing how much money they’d need for their retirement, but this has fallen significantly since Aviva last carried out similar research in 20163, when half of those questioned felt this.
The 2021 Census4 statistics, released earlier this month, show the greatest number of people ever in the UK are now in the 65+ age bracket. People of that age now account for 18.6% of the UK population, compared with 16.4% a decade ago. In addition, for the first time, there are more than half a million people aged 90+, in contrast to 100 years ago, when only 15,000 had reached that age.
Longer life expectancy, while much to be welcomed, also increases the age at which people inherit from their parents. Someone born in the 1960s, and therefore now aged between 53 – 62, would typically receive an inheritance on the death of their last parent at age 58, and this climbs to 62 for a seventies child, and 64 for someone born in the 1980s5.
The parents of these mid-lifers, by contrast, would have received their inheritances at a much younger age, given the significant growth in longevity over the past few decades. The move towards creating living legacies could stem in part from a desire to help their families out at a younger age, as they themselves were. Indeed, older people are more likely to want to help out than their younger counterparts. When asked whether they’d rather leave an inheritance than help younger members of the family onto the property ladder, the general response in the 45+ age group was evenly split, with 26% agreeing vs 25% disagreeing. However, the difference in the 75+ age group was much clearer – 19% agreeing, vs 32% who disagreed.
Matt McGill, MD Aviva Equity Release, said; “The research shows clear shifts in people’s minds about when it is the right time to leave legacies to their families. Our research with YouGov showed 10% of people giving gifting or Inheritance Tax purposes as their main reason for taking out Equity Release* – which means that people are seeking to use the flexibility some financial products provide to benefit their families.
“It’s true, too, that people get a good feeling from helping loved ones out and that’s another reason to bring gifts forward. People are getting more comfortable with the idea of capitalising on assets held now, as options to do this become easier and more accessible.
“This increasing tendency towards considering helping out now rather than beneficiaries receiving an inheritance after death is perhaps a reflection of the turbulence and uncertainty that everyone has been through since we previously ran our survey in 2016, and which shows no sign of diminishing. Along with the hardship people have faced, it’s also been a time of reflection for many and this could have included a resolution to live more for the moment and help family and loved ones now. “
1 YouGov Research carried out for Aviva June 2022; 3558 UK homeowners aged 55 - 84
2 Censuswide research carried out for Aviva April 2022; 1507 general consumers aged 45+
3 ICM research carried out for Aviva April 2016; 1506 general consumers aed 45+
4 2021 National Census figures released by ONS
5 Institute of Fiscal Studies : Inheritances and inequalities within generations, July 2020
Notes to editors:
- We are the UK’s leading Insurance, Wealth & Retirement business and we operate in the UK, Ireland and Canada. We also have international investments in Singapore, China and India.
- We help our 18.5 million customers make the most out of life, plan for the future, and have the confidence that if things go wrong we’ll be there to put it right.
- We have been taking care of people for 325 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’. In 2021, we paid £30.2 billion in claims and benefits to our customers.
- Aviva is a market leader in sustainability. In 2021, we announced our plan to become a Net Zero carbon emissions company by 2040, the first major insurance company in the world to do so. This plan means Net Zero carbon emissions from our investments by 2040; setting out a clear pathway to get there with a cut of 25% in the carbon intensity of our investments by 2025 and of 60% by 2030; and Net Zero carbon emissions from our own operations and supply chain by 2030. Find out more about our climate goals at www.aviva.com/climate-goals and our sustainability ambition at www.aviva.com/sustainability.
- Aviva is a Living Wage and Living Hours employer and provides market-leading benefits for our people, including flexible working, paid carers leave and equal parental leave. Find out more at https://www.aviva.com/about-us/our-people/
- As at 30 June 2022, total Group assets under management at Aviva Group are £353 billion and our Solvency II shareholder capital surplus is £10.3 billion. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
- For more details on what we do, our business and how we help our customers, visit www.aviva.com/about-us
- The Aviva newsroom at www.aviva.com/newsroom includes links to our spokespeople images, podcasts, research reports and our news release archive. Sign up to get the latest news from Aviva by email.
- You can follow us on:
- For the latest corporate films from around our business, subscribe to our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/aviva