The business and legal media gleefully inform Generation Y JDs and those considering law school about the six-figure debt. Leading that conga line of bad news has been Abovethelaw.com.
However, there's more darkness on the horizon for that generation. Most of the members, whether they commit the folly of acquiring a JD or not, could also experience the acute disappointment of no or a puny inheritance. One of the reasons for that is, as the Merrill Lynch survey found, only 41% of those with investable assets care about preserving or growing them to pass on to the next generation. As the bumper sticker from the 20th century blasted: We are out enjoying our children's inheritance.
That attitude is only the tip of the melting inheritance iceberg on which youthful dreams could be wrecked. The amount of the aggregated assets might itself be lower. Their value could have taken a hit in the financial meltdown of 2008 and not recovered. Also, with much longer lifespans, those with the bucks are being forced to spend them on, first, assisted living, and then nursing homes. The early asset to be put up for sale is the family home. After that funds could be liquidated. Then, concerned family members could be asking Generation Y to pitch in some money to help keep Granny and even mom and pop rolling.
I look at this developing phenomenon for the financial information company Motley Fool.
Here you can review my thinking on the inheritance bust, connect the dots, and perhaps surrender hope for a more financially comfortable future.