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Brits over-reliant on inheritance

25 August 2006
Over a third of Britons (37 per cent) are relying on an inheritance or other financial windfall in order to supplement their retirement savings or pension fund, according to Fidelity International.

This expectation is particularly rife among the younger generation, as nearly half (49 per cent) of respondents aged below 35 said they were relying on an inheritance to boost their retirement provisions.

However Simon Fraser, the president of institutional business at Fidelity International, said that people frequently over-estimated the size of their inheritance and that this should be seen as a bonus to their savings, rather than the basis.

"The message is clear - a good retirement plan should rest on solid foundations, not unpredictable windfalls," he commented.

"Expectations of an inheritance may be misplaced, or at least overly optimistic. As the population ages, assets accumulated over a lifetime may have to be used to pay for care.

"If the individual relies on an inheritance which does not transpire, they will have missed out on precious time," he noted, pointing to the fact that one pound saved at the age of 25 will have twice the value in retirement of the same pound invested at 39.

"Complacency and trusting to chance is an option that people - especially young people - simply cannot afford."

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