Many people include inherited money in their plans for retirement. In my limited experience, the amounts inherited are often much smaller than people expect. But, when great wealth is concentrated in one family, what stops that family from staying wealthy for many generations to come?
Here are a couple of explanations I’ve heard:
1. When people inherit money without having to work for it, they waste it all.
2. A person may create enormous wealth in business, but the next generation may have little business skill, and they will run the business into the ground.
I’ve never heard what I think is the most powerful explanation: when population levels are stable, the average couple has two children, and the family fortune gets cut in half each generation. So, a family may start with enormous wealth, but 5 generations later, 32 families are sharing this wealth.
So, this gives a partial explanation why you will likely inherit less money than you expect. Don’t count on the lottery either. Most people will have to save money for themselves.