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Millennials expecting inheritance windfall may be disappointed

Nearly 40% of Metro Vancouver Millennials expect $300,000 or more

February 29, 2016, Vancouver, B.C. – While the vast majority of parents expect to leave an inheritance behind, many Metro Vancouver children have unrealistic expectations about the amount they will receive, warns a report released today by Vancity credit union.

The report, Report: Great Expectations: wealth transfer between generations in British Columbia, found more than 39 per cent of Metro Vancouver children expect to receive an inheritance of more than $300,000, while only 12 per cent of parents anticipate leaving a legacy over that amount.

The report found that a contributing factor may be that less than half of Metro Vancouver parents have spoken with their kids about what to expect in terms of inheritances or wealth transfer.

Meanwhile, 60 per cent of B.C. parents surveyed said they have already provided a portion of their wealth to their children, helping with down payments for a house or car, or paying off student loans or other debts.

The report also found that:

  • the median asset value of B.C. households 65 years and older is about $594,400
  • the average inheritance in B.C. in 2012 was $137,800, while the median was a mere $50,200, suggesting that the vast majority of inheritances were less than $100,000
  • 85 per cent of male children and 71 per cent of female children aged 18 to 34 expect to receive an inheritance
  • 66 per cent of B.C. parents expect to leave $100,000 or less to each child
  • 78 per cent of B.C. parents aged 65 or older have drafted a will
  • eight per cent of B.C. parents have not drafted a will, consulted a wealth planner about inheritance or talked to their children about financial issues or inheritance.

Recommendations are directed not only to parents and children to plan and discuss their financial future, but also to employers and financial institutions to encourage retirement savings.


“It can be difficult for parents to talk their kids about their death, the state of their finances or any potential inheritances. But these are important conversations, especially if children have unrealistic expectations or aren’t taking responsibility for their own financial future.” Sophie Salcito, investment advisor at Vancity

Additional information

About Vancity

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 509,000 member-owners and their communities through 59 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay. As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $18.6 billion in assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

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For more information:

Lorraine Wilson | Vancity
T: 778-837-0394


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