According to Time, the younger generation is “lazy, entitled, selfish and shallow”.
The ‘Generation of Entitlement’, which means they have the impression the world owes them a living. It’s not uncommon to hear some of them say things like, “Yup, just waiting for dad to help me with the house deposit,” or “Yeah, my parents bought me that car”.
In fact, in a study published in the Journal of Consumer Behavior, Charles Schewe and his colleagues say people aged 17-23 years feel more entitled and are more interested in overt displays of wealth than those aged 27-31 years.
Another study pointed out that 60 per cent of first-time homebuyers finding it hard to get a mortgage are millennials unlike baby boomers who generally bought their first homes in their early twenties.
Marie, 64, and David, 71, started their life as regular hardworking middle class people. David worked with the government and Marie was a nurse for a few years before leaving her career to raise their four children. With whatever they had saved, the couple bought a small house. A few years later, they sold the house to upgrade to a larger house and now, 40 years into the future, Marie and David have become self-made millionaires from buying and selling houses. They worked really hard to get to where they are today.
Last month, one of their sons, Andrew, said that he felt that the main family house should be handed down to him. “After all I am your eldest child, mum,” he said.
What came out of Marie’s mouth was the last thing Andrew expected to hear. “No one is getting this house, Andrew. I’m going to sell it and use the money for the rest of our retirement years.”
Andrew’s face went pale in shock.
“What, really mum? I always thought you would leave me this house.”
How should you approach that sensitive topic?
Do it gradually, says experts. Rather than leave children thinking, ‘Why did she do that? Mum didn’t love me as much,’ you might want to be upfront about your intentions.
According to the WSJ, in general, building up to full disclosure is usually much more effective than dropping the news too soon, too suddenly or hiding wealth-transfer plans until a death occurs.
Sharing stories about how the family’s wealth was created is a good way to remind the younger generation that the money they will one day inherit didn’t come out of thin air, says Victor Preisser, founding director of the Institute for Preparing Heirs in Pasadena, Calif.
“Make it clear they shouldn’t bank on receiving the assets,” says Rocco Carriero, a private wealth adviser with Ameriprise Financial Services in Southampton, New York.