That got your attention … didn’t it!
Before we start, what is Generation X, let alone Generation Z, Millennials, Baby Boomers … these are phrases banded around about the different life stages (or subcomponents) of our society. But when terminologies like this are used as often and habitually as these phrases (i.e. Gen X this, Millennial that etc.), it appears particularly vital we have some practical idea of what these terms actually mean. The fact is that everyone uses these phrases, but often, like myself, they are not exactly sure where the lines are drawn …until now…
So, for clarity:
Generation Z: Born after 1996
Millennials: Born 1977 to 1995
Generation X: Born 1965 to 1976
Baby Boomers: Born 1946 to 1964
Silent Generation: Born 1945 and before
My research shows there are 4,067 households in Letchworth owned by Letchworth Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) and Letchworth’s Silent Generation (born 1945 and before). It also shows there are 6,681 Generation X’s of Letchworth (Letchworth people born between 1965 to 1976). Looking at demographics, home ownership statistics and current life expectancy, around two-thirds of those Letchworth 6,681 Generation X’s have parents and grandparents who own those 4,067 Letchworth properties.
They will profit from one of the biggest inheritance explosions of any post-war generation to the tune of £1.6bn of Letchworth property or £358,987 each but they will have to wait until their early 60’s to get it!
However, it’s the Millennials that are in line for an even bigger inheritance windfall.
There are 4,301 Millennials in Letchworth and my research shows around two thirds of them are set to inherit the 4,322 Letchworth Generation X’s properties. Those Generation X’s Letchworth homes are worth £1.7bn meaning, on average, each Millennial will inherit £592,599; but not until at least 2040 to 2060!
While the Letchworth Millennials have done far less well in amassing their own savings and assets, they are more likely to take advantage of an inheritance boom in the years to come. This will probably be very welcome news for those Letchworth Millennials, including some from poorer upbringings who in the past would have been unlikely to receive gifts and legacies.
However, inheritance is not the magic weapon that will get the Millennials on to the Letchworth housing ladder or tackle growing wealth cracks in UK society, as the inheritance is unlikely to be made available when they are trying to buy their first home…but before all you Letchworth Millennials start running up debts, over 50% of females and around 35% of men are going to have to pay for nursing home care. Interestingly, I read recently that a quarter of people who have to pay for their care, run out of money.
If you are a Letchworth Millennial there potentially will be nothing left for you.
Of course, most parents want to give their children an inheritance, the consideration that what you have worked genuinely hard for over your working life won’t go to your children to help them through their lives is a really awful one … maybe that is why I am seeing a lot of Letchworth grandparents doing something meaningful, and helping their grandchildren, the Millennials, with the deposit for their first house.
One solution to the housing crisis in Letchworth (and the UK as a whole) is if grandparents, where they are able to, help financially with the deposit for a house. Buying is cheaper than renting – we have proved it many times in these articles … so, it’s not a case of not affording the mortgage, the issue is raising the 5% to 10% mortgage deposit for these Millennials.
Maybe families should be distributing a part of the family wealth now (in the form of helping with house deposits) as opposed to waiting to the end… it will make so much more of a difference to everyone in the long run.
Just a thought?