Yesterday, I posted about the international bond we parents of grown children have: Wherever we are in the world and whatever our cultural base, a majority of us are willing--if we're able--to help our kids out financially. Most of our kids appreciate the help, even if they're sometimes embarrassed about taking it--at least that's what the surveys here and in Australia and South Korea found.
Does the same underlying theme hold true for leaving a legacy?
According to a Pew survey of grown children and their parents here and in Germany and Italy, our kids have Great Expectations: American kids--more so than German or Italian--see it as our responsibility to leave them an inheritance.
Kids ages 18-29 have the highest sense of entitlement. That percent declines as they get older--to a mere 28 percent once they reach their 60s and presumably have kids who will have Great Expectations of their own. In Germany and Italy, the percentages are much lower--only 27 percent of Italian bambini and 20 percent of German kinder in the 18-29 age range see a legacy as their parents' responsibility. (The chart below has all the numbers.)
One upbeat note for those of us who may find ourselves struggling financially in old age: The survey found that an overwhelming majority our kids--three out of four--feel a strong obligation to look after us. Germans and Italians had more faith than American kids did that government programs would help financially in old age. That faith may be at the crux of why our kids say they feel it's their responsibility to be there for us. But not necessarily why they may think we should be building a nest egg to pass on to them.