Less than a third (28 per cent) of those retiring this year think they can afford to leave an inheritance, research released today has found.
The study by Prudential discovered that the proportion of pensioners who think they'll be able to leave something behind for their loved ones has dropped to its lowest level in six years, with increasing demands to provide financial support to family during their living years effectively picking their pockets clean.
Read more: What will pensions be like in 20 years?
"With the average retirement now lasting nearly 20 years, people retiring in 2016 who provide support to their families could hand over an average of £60,000 during their retirement," said Stan Russell, a retirement income expert at Prudential. "With this in mind it is perhaps unsurprising that the numbers of people expecting to leave an inheritance is on the decline."
The research also found that more than a third (35 per cent) of those retiring this year are already providing financial support to their families, forking out an average of £250 per month, or around £3,000 per year. More than one in ten (13 per cent) are dishing out more than £500 per month, while five per cent were paying out to help support their own grandparents.
"The pressure on retirees to provide this financial support continues to rise in line with the growth in the cost of housing, education, childcare and support for older people," Russell added. "In fact, these research results show that the concept of the bank of mum and dad is already out of date – many of this year’s retirees must feel like the bank of son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, partner, granny and grandad, all rolled into one."
However, those who do think they'll have a little something left over once their time is up believe they'll be able to leave behind £191,000 on average, which is pretty much unchanged from when Prudential asked the same question to retirees last year.
Prudential's findings are likely to come as an unwelcome shock to many. Research released in February by VouchedFor discovered that people expected to rake in an average of £127,454 from inheritances, while a particularly optimistic one in ten believed that they'd be able to fund their own retirement using money they have inherited.
In reality, VouchedFor discovered that the average amount a UK adult will receive from inheritance is £63,279.