There's both good and bad news when it comes to Americans planning for retirement.
The good news is more than three-quarters of Americans think their retirement is up to them, not the government. The bad news — most seem to be expecting an inheritance to fund that retirement.
"Counting on inheritance from family is exceptionally risky for any generation," said Jeff Weeks, a financial advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors. "Money that may be set aside today could be needed for unplanned expenses. I recommend that people approach inheritance as an added bonus, not a guarantee."
New numbers released by Natixis Global Asset Management seem to show many are not heeding that advice. While 78% of Americans say it is up to them to make sure they have enough money to live in retirement — not the government — 77% are counting on family support to help fund their retirement. Millennials, in particular, seem to be counting on a windfall from a will, as 62% believe an inheritance and support from their children will be important for their retirement needs.
"Many Millennials may think that their parents are prioritizing leaving them money after their gone, but this is not always the case," Weeks said. "Not all investors are interested in flying coach so their children can fly first-class. They want to enjoy the wealth they have earned. If there's money left over then great, if there's not, that's fine too. It was theirs to spend."
Pearce Landry-Wegener, an advisor at Summit Place Financial Advisors, said relying on an inheritance to fund a retirement can be risky at best.