Inheriting cash is a big disappointment for the over 55s, who say that they need £184,000 to comfortably live out their lives but are likely to end up with much less.
Nearly half of over 55s (46%) have been left money by a loved one or relative.
But only 17% – just short of one in five – collected more than £100,000 and only one in 50 received more than £400,000.
The average pot was £74,816 for all over 55s, according to research by financial service firm SunLife.
And most of the over 55s must wait until they are at least 70 or older before they inherit, with their inheritance falling to £73,488.
Youngest beneficiaries receive the most money
Those inheriting in their 60s receive an average £74,255, while those in their 50s pick up the most money – an average £79,252.
SunLife also asked 1,000 over 55s how much cash they considered they would need to top up their current income and savings to feel financially ‘comfortable’ for the rest of their lives.
On average, the over 55s said that they would need an extra £184,484 rid themselves of money worries in retirement – but the amount varied a lot from person to person.
Almost a third (30%) said that they were ‘already comfortable’ while four of those surveyed said they’d need as much as £10 million.
Half of over 55s in line for inheritance
Understandably, the amount respondents felt they’d need was higher the younger the respondent, with those aged 55-59 saying that they’d need £299,943, which dropped to £167,731 for those in their 60s and £145,064 for those aged 70 and over.
But whatever the age group – the amount that they said they needed far exceeded the average inheritance.
Simon Stanney, equity release director at SunLife said: “Our survey suggests that around half of those over 55 will receive an inheritance at some point, but it certainly cannot be relied upon to fund retirement. Other means of achieving this comfort level will need to be explored.
“For example, many over 55s have cash tied up in the value of their homes, which means downsizing is an option.”