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Are Inheritances Helping Stimulate Consumer Spending Booms?
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Here’s a question I haven’t seen much discussion about. There are currently a number of spending booms going on, with the first I noticed — last July 4th’s orgy of backyard fireworks — being literally booming. For example, homes, home furnishings, cryptocurrency, etc. are up, up, up. There’s even a new way to waste your money: the Non-Fungible Token. (Note: in case there ever is an iSteve NFT, this dismissive characterization won’t, of course, apply to it, for reasons.)

Now, obviously, government policy is the main stimulus. But perhaps accelerated inheritances are playing a role as well? From JAMA Network:

Between March 1, 2020, and January 2, 2021, the US experienced 2 801 439 deaths, 22.9% more than expected, representing 522 368 excess deaths. … Deaths attributed to COVID-19 accounted for 72.4% of US excess deaths.

In 19th Century novels, like Jane Austen’s and Charles Dickens’, inheritance is a major theme. The topic has faded out of our popular culture, but I presume the real world effects remain nontrivial.

 
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  1. JimB says:

    Huh. I have an acquaintance who came into a million dollars from his widower dad’s estate last November. It changed his life. He immediately moved from a rental in a bad neighborhood in the flats to his own place in a nice hilltop neighborhood 30 miles away. He never told me the cause of his dad’s death, but maybe it was COVID-19.

    • Troll: Je Suis Omar Mateen
    • Replies: @Not Raul
    , @profnasty
  2. Both Jane Austen and Charles Dickens have pervasive themes of wishful thinking.

    In the novels of Jane Austen the girls who come without dowries and family connections, but who are intelligent and good-hearted always succeed in marrying themselves off to good looking wealthy men purely on their own merits and without the aid of matchmakers.

    Jane Austen herself was a bachelorette. She did once have a very wealthy suitor, but turned him down as she did not like him personally.

    In the novels of Charles Dickens the penniless child who grows up in an orphanage or with abusive foster parents invariably discovers that he is the son of a wealthy man or has a secret benefactor.

    Charles Dickens himself grew up in poverty and in fact spent time in a debtors jail with his family, being sent out to work in a factory at a very young age to earn money to pay the family debts.

    Both Dickens and Austen achieved financial independence through their writings, which Western culture has inherited.

    Baby boomers have benefited tremendously from inheritances, hence the death of literature.

    • Thanks: ic1000
  3. Polistra says:

    In Jane Austen and the like, people are always inheriting stately homes from their second cousins once removed. If you study English history you’ll see it’s not just a literary conceit. Keeping wealth in the family was Job One for the better part of a millennium. And men were measured by how much they added to the family’s wealth over time.

    Separately, I’ve always been in favor of a stiff inheritance tax, which Republicans call the “death tax.” Trouble is, our gummint does awful things with tax revenue. Almost exclusively awful.

  4. Anonymous[366] • Disclaimer says:

    Early Boomers (1945-1950) had been struggling health-wise anyway, and getting in the life-expectancy wheelhouse, so to speak. Even if they avoided COVID, the knockoff effects of COVID to the healthcare system have caused worse treatment and likely poorer outcomes since last March. It really is a confluence of Demographics, Pandemic and Lockdown.

    • Agree: Mr. Anon
    • Replies: @Redman
    , @stillCARealist
  5. Then there will be a dis-stimulation coming up over the next two years. Maybe Jerome Powell can come up with a way to restimulate inheritances. I hear the Wuhan Institute is looking for some new grant money.

    • LOL: bomag
  6. Mr Deeds says:

    I’m one of the oldest Millennials (turning 38 next month) and we are indeed at the early stages of perhaps the biggest transfer of intergenerational wealth that the United States has ever seen.

    That being the oldest boomers from the late 1940’s now reaching the end stage of an average lifespan (roughly 75 years) who have ridden an astounding property and stock value boom the last 20 years of their lives which is about to be handed down to their late Gen-X or early Millennial children like myself over the course of the 2020’s.

    A considerable amount of my peers have gotten inheritances in recent years and are now seen with sizeable homes, new sub-$100,000 cars, you name it. Many have just opted out of formal work ever again. It’s like, why bother? And especially for the men with how awful office environments are where women and HR completely dominate the scene.

  7. @Jonathan Mason

    Dickens brother, Augustus, and his common law wife drank themselves to death in Illinois leaving two or three kids as orphans.

  8. In the current climate, the only “inheritance” worth a damn is the DNA that bestows melanin based sainthood on convicted felons.

  9. Neoconned says:

    Can someone explain to me what an NFT is and how to make 1 and i presume bring it to market?

    Anyway in the last 2 yrs: my father…..early 60s threw in the towel and got his SSI…

    …..my aunty died…..mid 50s of cancer…..my mother’s 2nd husband died last fall…..heart attack….late 50s…..both were heavy smokers and drinkers for extended parts of their lives….

    My mom’s best friend passed 2 months ago….smoking….

    My mother in law….just retired at 60 as a bus driver for the local bus service….her 4th hubby just died & she inherited his house & will be getting his SS survivor benefits…..my best friend and his mom had lunch with me 2 weeks ago….same thing…..retiring at 60 as a librarian at a Catholic school….her 1st hubby died 25 yrs ago in the service….collecting his benefits….

    A coworker of mine is 61….her 2 siblings died in the last yr…..said shes had enough…..told me come October she’s retiring & taking her SS…..

    For some reason a lotta random people i know are retiring & dying all at once….

  10. Anonymous[219] • Disclaimer says:

    Pokemon cards are another example:

    “Gotta catch ’em all: Prices of Pokemon cards boom in pandemic, fetch six figures at auction”

    https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/gotta-catch-em-all-prices-of-pokemon-cards-boom-in-pandemic-fetch-six-figures-at-auction/articleshow/81189327.cms

    LOS ANGELES: Pokemon is all grown up, and so are its prices.

    Two decades after the Japanese trading card game became the biggest thing in schoolyards around the world, Pokemon cards are fetching six figures at auction in a boom that appears to have been fueled by coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.

    “When COVID-19 hit, a lot of Gen X and Millennials were looking for things to do and we found a lot of these guys and girls started playing Pokemon again because they grew up with it,” said Joe Maddalena, executive vice president at Texas-based Heritage Auctions.

    Maddalena said boxes of the 1999 U.S. first edition base set had sold for around $400,000 at auction in recent months. A single card in mint condition for the popular fire-flying character Charizard sold for $300,000 in January, whereas in late 2019 asking prices for a Charizard card were around $16,000, he said.

    Once stuffed into pockets or thrown into toy boxes, Pokemon cards have become so sought-after that long lines form outside stores when new batches are released.

    “It’s crazy, because I know just a few years ago you could go anywhere and there were walls of Pokemon cards and it’s just all come back,” said Megan Meadows, 29, who lined up outside the Next-Gen Games store in Los Angeles last week.

    “For me, personally, it’s nostalgia 100 percent. I was a big Pokemon kid in the late 90s, early 2000s, and it’s also finding that joy again in a time where joy is a little hard to come by and it’s kind of pure and fun,” she added.

    As Pokemon gears up for its global 25th anniversary celebrations on Feb. 27, Heritage is holding its first auction dedicated to Pokemon cards. The Feb 25 – March 25th online auction will have 200 Pokemon lots, including what Maddalena called “the Holy Grail” – a sealed, 1999 Wizards of the Coast base set.

    “The last one, we sold for $406,000 – who knows what it could go for?,” he said.

    • Replies: @stillCARealist
  11. gda53 says:

    ‘We’re sorry. That page could not be found.’

    The message found when I clicked on unz.com/isteve

    Error, ya think? Or something more sinister?

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @Pericles
    , @jb
  12. Mr. Anon says:

    A related question is how much of the excess death of the last year is due to the Boomers just aging out. The oldest Boomers turn 75 this year. 75 is pretty old, and the Boomers were a massive demographic cohort. You’d expect them to start packing it in, and when they do, you’d expect it to have a footprint in the death stats. Moreover, Sex and Drugs (if not Rock-and-roll) takes a toll. And it’s not as if they didn’t drink and smoke a lot either.

    But leave it to the Boomers – “The Me Generation” – to go out with a flourish. They can’t just die of old age. They have to be victims of a great plague. Such Divas they are.

  13. I think it’s a real possibility. At least in our home. We are blessed to have sons (2) who work hard and live within their means. The Missus and I are of the mind to help them whenever possible. They’re going to get it when our porch lights go out. Why not help them now if we can?

    They’ve never been the kind to call or visit and ask for money. We like being able to reward them for living responsibly. After all, it’s only money.

    • Replies: @photondancer
    , @Anonymous
  14. Mr. Blank says:

    I’d bet this plays a much bigger role than most people suspect.

    Boomers have successfully amassed an enormous amount of wealth, and as they die off, that wealth will transfer to their less-well-off heirs. I know this from experience: I’ve barely scraped by for my entire career, but when both my Boomer parents died within a couple of years of each other, I suddenly came into a lot of money.

    Not a TON of money — the inheritance was divided among kids and stepkids and some grandkids of theirs I’ve never even met. (Boomers, natch.) But it’s enough that I no longer worry about utility and grocery bills and, assuming I keep working and maintain my lower-middle-class lifestyle (and we don’t have any civilization-destroying depressions or world wars), I should be OK in retirement. Not great, but OK. Trust me, that’s much better than what I’d been expecting. I originally thought I’d be working until I was about 90 — or dead, whichever came first…

    Now, my parents weren’t THAT exceptional, as Boomers go. They did well, but I know a lot of their peers did much, much better. So I’m guessing that the next couple of decades will see lots of failure-to-launch Gen Xers and Millenials suddenly finding themselves with more money than they’ve ever had in their entire lives, as their loaded Boomer parents die off. That will probably fuel a mini spending boom, of a sort. I’m sure lots of these newly-flush heirs will fritter everything away like spoiled 19th century aristocrats — meaning issues of inheritance could make a big comeback as a focus of popular fiction.

    Anyway: This spending boom won’t represent any kind of real growth in wealth, but it may appear that way in the numbers. The usual suspects will probably spin it that way.

  15. El Dato says:
    @Neoconned

    Can someone explain to me what an NFT is

    No

    Ok: It’s copyable classical bytes that someone will pay a large amount of money for reasons that have allegedly othing to do with money laundering. Add the keyword “digital ledger / bitcoin” for bonus points (because that’s about as relevant as posting the fact of the sale in the NYT). In fact, the price is really on the statement of sale.

    Now, if they were nonycopyable quantum, there would at least be *something*. But here?

    I mean Jack the Twitterman’s “first tweet”? REALLY? I would pay more for the intern’s first turd.

    is and how to make 1 and i presume bring it to market?

    I suppose you must hire a marketing firm for that.

    There is a lot of “fresh money” trickling through the system now. Muh sandwich will soon be in NFT price range.

    The feel when

    • Replies: @Neoconned
    , @Neoconned
  16. • Replies: @jon
    , @Pericles
  17. Neoconned says:
    @Mr Deeds

    You’re about half a yr older than me then….i wish i was you. My parents will leave me nothing but debts & the cost of burying them….in my mother’s case…..shes getting cremated per het wishes…

  18. @Mr. Anon

    … to go out with a flourish. They can’t just die of old age. They have to be victims of a great plague. Such Divas they are.

    You’re the one posting the aria, Leontyne.

    • LOL: Polistra
    • Troll: Johnplywood
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  19. @Mr. Anon

    Mr. Anon, just rough calculations gave me about 1/3 of the excess deaths being about the baseline of “normal deaths” curve going steadily up, rather than it being actual “excess”. I need to get a few more years worth of data (I dropped the whole thing a few weeks ago). It was a simple comparison of how many Americans are of certain age ranges in ’20 vs. ’15 (and other years), taking into account average death rates of Americans in those certain age “baskets”.

    I still have the basics up in some tabs. I like your 2nd paragraph!

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  20. El Dato says:
    @gda53

    I think Ron reboots everything regularly at 06:00 UTC. Also, sometimes cloudflare conks out.

    Nothing to get excited about yet.

    • Agree: Lot
  21. Oh, c’mon Steve. This is your COVID-19 –> Death –> Spending boom.

    Right?

    “Are Inheritances Helping Stimulate Consumer Spending Booms?”

    Well, yeah, in the iSteve, Unz Review universe, in which everybody dies of COVID-19 after a certain age and then bequeathes everything they own to Millennials — just as the Millennials want.

    Methinks thou doth notice too much.

  22. The best way to go is the way my dad went; owing a huge flux ton of money. Timothy Leary’s grandpa was supposedly the richest man in Springfield MA and when he died he was net in debt and all of his kids were underwater because everybody thought they had this big inheritance coming and were lending them big dollars they thought they were good for except it was all a facade.

    There is exactly one thing fueling the spending booms. Lending.

  23. Mr. Anon says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Those Boomers………………They’re special…………….so special:

    • Thanks: Neoconned
  24. Mr. Anon says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Are you a fan of musical theater then?

    How very………….fabulous.

    • Replies: @Polistra
  25. Mr. Anon says:
    @Mr Deeds

    A considerable amount of my peers have gotten inheritances in recent years and are now seen with sizeable homes, new sub-$100,000 cars, you name it. Many have just opted out of formal work ever again. It’s like, why bother? And especially for the men with how awful office environments are where women and HR completely dominate the scene.

    Good for them. Most work nowadays is bullshit.

    • Agree: Neoconned
    • Disagree: Johnplywood
    • Replies: @Alden
    , @Neoconned
  26. @Mr Deeds

    … an astounding property and stock value boom the last 20 years of their lives …

    Make that the last 40 years of their lives. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 776 in August 1982, the month I completed graduate school. It had muddled along around or below 1,000 for the previous 13 years.

  27. @Morton's toes

    Die like Sammy Davis Jr.: owing $5 million to the IRS and have your widow tell the feds they can haul off your 12′ tall fiberglass Planet of the Apes statue and see what they can get for it.

    • Agree: Polistra
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  28. AL. says:

    I’m curious how the rally in home prices (and the much-reported shortage of housing stock) would square with this theory.

    If wealth is being passed down by older parents dying, and this is resulting in a splurge by the inheriting generation, one wouldn’t expect the splurging heirs to suddenly afford much more expensive homes than their parents did. This is especially true when considering that many inheritances are split among multiple siblings.

    If parents in a $1mm house die and leave their estate to a child who uses it to buy a $1mm house, that’s a wash: one nice house purchased, but another up for sale. Furthermore, if the child who inherits the money and buys a big house already owned a smaller house, that’s a net increase in the supply of housing stock: one nice house purchased, one nice house for sale, and one smaller house for sale.

    On the other hand, if many of the excess deaths last year were to people so old and feeble that they no longer lived in nice big houses for health reasons, but instead had sold their houses and were sitting on the money, then their deaths might well unleash some significant increase in spending on housing.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  29. @AL.

    Cuomo said a year ago that only 1/6th of deaths during the huge NYC surge were of working people.

    • Replies: @anon
  30. anon[635] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    We should always trust everything Mario Cuomo says. Especially if it involves numbers.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Barbarossa
  31. LondonBob says:

    I just received an inheritance from my boomer spinster aunt who passed away from cancer last summer, she beat the covid she picked up in intensive care, so there is an element of truth to this. Of course the assets have to be realised so the crack up boom is still more to do with the crazed money printing. The other issue is, at least amongst my upper middle class London mid to late thirties set, the bank of mum and dad has been up and running for many years now so the boomer parents have already helped fund property purchases, with private school fees for grandchildren a bigger theme these days. Indeed last month a friend’s parents sold their substantial family home to fund his, badly needed, house renovation and school fees for his eldest. Certainly you are starting to see friends’ parents starting to die off now, although cancer has been the cause mostly, no one from covid.

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @YetAnotherAnon
    , @Clyde
  32. I thought the ventilators and ICU beds were designed precisely for the purpose of separating Boomers from as much cash as possible in the last weeks of their lives.

    • Agree: JMcG, peterike, Neoconned
  33. Polistra says:
    @Mr. Anon

    I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    You definitely got that part right.

    • Disagree: Johnplywood
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  34. Anon[191] • Disclaimer says:

    My suspicion is that a lot of this is being fueled by down payment money. There are people who saved their stimulus payment, and they’ve had other cash pile up because they weren’t able to take a vacation they had budgeted for, or they weren’t eating out so much anymore, or going out to see plays or movies or concerts for a whole year.

    Some people have stashed away thousands of dollars, and they suddenly realized they have enough cash for a good down payment on something like a house or a motorhome or something else they were always thinking of buying.

    An important point is a lot of people underestimate what they spend on entertainment during the course of a year. It’s a large portion of some people’s incomes.

  35. The guy who ran Money magazine back in the 80s said a big part of the Boomers’ wealth came from inheriting it from their grandparents.
    Frankly, one reason why things have seemed off economically for several decades now has been increased lifespans. If the average male dies in their early 60s, and average female in their mid-60s, assets get turned over to relatives when they’re more likely to really need them. “Well, we can let Jamie and her husband get the house, since they’re going to have a second child soon”, that sort of thing.

    • Agree: LondonBob
    • Replies: @Anon
  36. anon[493] • Disclaimer says:
    @Neoconned

    For some reason a lotta random people i know are retiring & dying all at once

    Too bad they didn’t get ‘The Jab’ before they shuffled off.
    The vaxxines will give boomers eternal life.

  37. @Enemy of Earth

    There is much to be said for giving one’s children money when they’re young enough to enjoy it, rather than making them wait decades. Of course, the dilemma is figuring out how much you can afford to give them as well as provide for your own unknown lifespan.

    • Agree: S. Anonyia, Spud Boy
  38. duncsbaby says:
    @Mr. Anon

    It was all foretold in the 80’s:

  39. G. Poulin says:

    In British whodunits, people are constantly offing each other over wills. Damn murderous Brits.

  40. Why are people talking about Jane Austen in here? I thought this was a heteronormative website with a male audience? Hang the cucks.

    • LOL: AndrewR
    • Troll: Clyde
  41. J.Ross says:
    @anon

    Hey, why not, these same smart guys already believe everything the Communist Party of China says; Neanderhag is a step up.

  42. Unit472 says:

    I got a good chuckle reading Berkshire Hathaway billionaire Charlie Munger’s comments. He informed the audience that today’s young people will have a much harder time accumulating wrath than “our generation “! Munger is 97 and it’s a fair bet not one other person in the audience grew up in the roaring 20’s

  43. @Mr Deeds

    It seems like the Boomers are the most selfish generation when it comes to their money and their kids. The middle class prides itself on having enough money to own a vacation home and pay a monthly car lease forever. Why not pay to set your kids up with a house or investment property and enjoy their success while you are alive? Instead, the kids are still paying student loans and racking up interest debt. When you leave your money to someone deep in debt and unprepared to manage it, you are only accelerating the shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves cycle.

  44. Jiminy says:

    When my ancient aunt died I was naive enough to think that I might be fortunate enough to receive a nice little present. But unknown to me a gold digger came out of the woodwork, and both she and my sister-in-law took my aunt, who was suffering from early dementia, to the lawyers to change her will. The gold digger wasn’t even related. They basically took everybody to the cleaners. I was doing alright without needing her dough, but it certainly brings your opinion of others into sharp focus.
    Whereas to show the other side of people’s character, as my mum lay dying of cancer in hospital, she filled out a years subscription of National Geographic magazine in my name. I never knew about it until a couple of months after she died when the first magazine arrived. Quite an unbelievable shock.

  45. Anonymous[199] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    And then there’s Roy Cohn:

    At death, the IRS seized almost everything he had. One of the things that the IRS did not seize was a pair of diamond cuff links, given to him by his client and friend, Donald Trump.

    According to Roger Stone, Cohn’s “absolute goal was to die completely broke and owing millions to the IRS. He succeeded in that.”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn

    • Replies: @Anon
  46. jon says:
    @JohnnyWalker123

    One of the happier looking mug shots I think I’ve ever seen.

  47. dearieme says:

    The middle class prides itself on having enough money to own a vacation home and pay a monthly car lease forever.

    Not us. We own only one house (sob!). Our car is fully owned (as you’d expect, given that it is a 2005 model). We live comfortably (a couple of bottles of wine a week) but frugally (only a couple of bottles of wine a week).

    It’s possible that our wealth will be wiped out by care home fees. If not it will cascade down the generations. Lord knows what they will do with it. Take it abroad, I dare say.

    • Replies: @Zoos
  48. @Mr. Anon

    Divas though we might be, we were the last generation to grow up in a free place called the United States. Trouble is, we took all that crap in the Declaration of Independence seriously, and strove to turn the promises we saw unfulfilled everywhere into realities. But our disobedience terrified the one percenters so badly that they cracked down hard, sent the jobs overseas, ruined the money, consolidated all sources of news and enetrtainment, making damn sure the peasants wouldn’t have the free time or information to ever threaten their rule again. And hey, try growing up with parents who were traumatized by the Great Depression and the completely unnecessary horror called the Second World War, and never allowed to say how they really felt about it, and see how well you do.

  49. Anon[302] • Disclaimer says:

    Get ready for: The inheritance system is systemically racist since whites die owning more than others and pass on more to their offspring than others, which gives them unearned advantages. The fact that those who died and left inheritances were taxed on earnings, capital gains, etc. and STILL managed to amass an inheritable amount shows they were not taxed enough. Equity demands their inheritance should be shared among others less fortunate to make up for past inequities.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    , @Flip
  50. bomag says:
    @Polistra

    I’ve always been in favor of a stiff inheritance tax

    The kind of thing that makes some sense, but I’ve seen it damage small business types trying to keep things together.

    • Replies: @John Johnson
  51. Arclight says:

    I definitely think there is something to this – I have more than one person in my my social circle whose parents decided in 2020 to hand over an investment property to their kids, both for estate planning purposes and so that they could see their kids/grandkids benefit from it while they were still alive.

    If Biden’s proposal to increase the inheritance tax and do away with stepped up basis appears to have a better than 50% chance of being enacted, I would expect to see a lot more homes and properties owned by the retired get transferred to their relatives much earlier than would be the case.

  52. Wency says:
    @Mr Deeds

    I agree, I’m a similar age and see the same observations here. It’s worth pointing out that there’s also a large collapsing-fertility effect. My wife and I are both only children. As an only child, if your parents merely earned middle-class incomes and exercised reasonable diligence, then they should have some combination of owning their home outright, retaining life insurance policies, and having some money in the stock market. Which I can’t see translating to much less than a $500,000 inheritance even under the poorest circumstances, unless their end-of-life costs eat all that money up, and it can very easily be a multi-million dollar inheritance.

    I think our shrinking family tree is still a tragedy though. I suppose I see it as a duty to use that money to raise as large a family as we can, and to raise it right.

  53. My $3 million estate is going to the Universal Church that Christ founded and not to my spendthrift child. The adult child does not understand the value of a dollar and she never calls, a real NPD(narcissistic personality disorder).

  54. @Mr Deeds

    Yes, and now here come Biden and the Dems to ruin it all with a huge estate tax increase. Thanks, Repubs, for running such a bad and divisive candidate in 2020; the soon-coming mass looting couldn’t have been done without you.

  55. George says:

    “Are Inheritances Helping Stimulate Consumer Spending Booms?”

    The flip side of inheritance, which pays on death, is pensions, which pay until death. There are probably more than a few families that lost granny and her monthly check from the federal state local government and possibly a private employer or annuity.

    In particular fed gov reduced social security ect programs by 500,000 retirees.

    On the other side of the ledger might be loss of key people like nurses, if that really was a large amount. I have not seem any authoritative study on the subject even though healthcare personnel should be covered by workers comp and other insurance that would be paying out more if healthcare workers were dying in large numbers.

    • Replies: @Alden
  56. Late last night I saw huge numbers of (American) black tourists wandering around downtown Miami. No doubt they were spending their Biden Bux.

    A large group of blacks – several dozen at least – got off a packed ferry near the Hyatt Regency on the Miami River. Most of them seemed to be in their twenties and thirties.

    As the boat docked, someone – the captain (?) – was lecturing them over the PA system as if they were children: “Keep the noise level down – there are condo towers nearby and people are trying to sleep! Exit the ferry the same way that you entered and go left toward the Metromover station! Do not go right under any circumstances!” He sounded white, so I was surprised he was able to get away with ordering them around.

    A little while later, I saw a sizable contingent of blacks congregating around the Hilton at the old Omni complex – a bustling hotel attached to the hulk of a long-dead shopping mall.

    Across from the hotel are a decrepit Checkers and a gleaming Ferrari dealership. (Talk about an eclectic retail mix!) I had an opportunity to observe the people waiting in line at the former establishment.

    There were about fifteen people in line, all but one or two of them black. One of the non-blacks – an athletic white Hispanic – was accompanied by a slim young black woman who was easily the hottest girl there. Most of the females were of the landwhale variety.

    Incidentally, the line moved incredibly slowly. The drive-through lanes were closed, so people had to park their cars and walk up to the window to order their food. I was in the area for about half an hour, and some of the people who were in line when I got there had not yet *ordered* when I left. Some of those who had ordered had not received their food.

    I marveled not only at the apparent incompetence of the Checkers employees but also at the desperation of the customers willing to stand outside for hours on end on a Sunday night for incredibly crappy food. Who are these people?

    (In my experience, the burgers at Checkers make Big Macs and Whoppers seem like gourmet cuisine. The chili dogs are edible, but hardly worth the inconvenience.)

  57. Anecdotally this seems to be a big thing in New Zealand too, where it’s exacerbated by the super hot property market – currently the most extreme in the world. It’s proving a fertile ground for the theories of white privilege to grow as well, which is really just recent immigrant cope for the property gains that middle class NZers are reaping from the otherwise unremarkable suburban and beach front properties that their grandparents lived in for 50 years.

  58. @Arclight

    Doesn’t the US currently have a gift tax? Why subject yourself to accounting gymnastics to avoid the gift tax when the estate tax exemption is already so high?

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @res
  59. mmack says:

    “But perhaps accelerated inheritances are playing a role as well?”

    From personal experience, it rather depends on the circumstances around a parent’s passing.

    My late mother in law passed away a few years ago while in her eighties. Greatest Generation, lived modestly, invested well. Spent less than a year in a nursing home before she passed on. My wife is an only child so she inherited everything, including the proceeds of the sale of her townhouse. The money inherited did help us move out of Silly-nois and made up for losing money on the sale of our old house.

    My mother just recently passed away. Greatest Generation, she and my late father socked away cash and invested relatively well. Mom also was very careful with her money. However she spent over seven years in a nursing home and I can tell you, it wasn’t inexpensive. Between that and having siblings I would be stunned if I got any money from my late mother’s estate. Not that I’m looking to cash in, but I’m realistic about how much money her care cost. I saw how much my wife paid to care for her mother, and adjusted for inflation.

    So everyone expecting a big cash payout upon the passing of a parent, it depends on their end of life experience.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
  60. Are the inheritance procedures so efficient in the US that a little over a year is enough time for the money to be delivered? I’ve been living in a rather socialist European country, where such efficiency sounds miraculous. On TV last night was a report on squatters, a huge problem because the law gives owners 48 hours to evict, after which trying to evict becomes a big long nightmare. So you have whole rackets scoping out empty apartments and renting them out to lots of illegal immigrants etc. Sorry, I guess I’ve wandered OT but I’m feeling amazingly anti-Socialist these days, what with “equity” gal in the shotgun seat in Washington.

    • Replies: @Travis
  61. @Polistra

    The other problem with a death tax is that the money was already being taxed to death when your ancestor was busting ass to make it.

    • Agree: JMcG
  62. Redman says:
    @Anonymous

    Agreed. I don’t understand why JAMA and the CDC don’t seem to take into account the changing US demographics and the projected massive increases in the US death rate in the next 3 decades. The seem to operate on the assumption that “excess” deaths must refer to a baseline average of deaths over the last 5 years (or some such metric). But they ignore this:

    https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/death-rate

    In an effort to exaggerate the impacts of Covid, these globalist health organizations never take into account the massively aging population throughout the West. The same thing is happening throughout Europe.

    For example, Germany’s population is now so old that it has the 6th highest annual death rate in the world. This informative chart shows that Germany had a higher excess death rate from the 2017 flu than from Covid19 in 2020. The older the population, the higher the death rate.

    https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  63. Pericles says:
    @gda53

    It’s a reminder to donate generously.

  64. Pericles says:
    @JohnnyWalker123

    What happened to the three black teens who tortured the white retarded kid on facebook video?

    • Agree: anonymouseperson
  65. anonymous[382] • Disclaimer says:

    May have already been posited, but accelerated as in grantors doing disbursements as gifts while still alive, due to the direction of our fiat currency, etc…

  66. Mr. Anon says:
    @Polistra

    You definitely got that part right.

    I don’t speak retard. Couldn’t quite make out what you said there.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  67. Alden says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Agree The worst thing about work is the people you have to work with.

    • Agree: HammerJack
    • Troll: JohnPlywood
  68. Anonymous[194] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Charles Dickens himself grew up in poverty and in fact spent time in a debtors jail with his family, being sent out to work in a factory at a very young age to earn money to pay the family debts.

    Boomer here. Except for real estate, my father never used a credit card. He either paid via cash or check, or he didn’t buy it. That carried over to me. I use a credit card, but letting the balance carry over is out of the question for me. My dad drilled into me that carrying credit card debt was a game for the suckers and the mugs–and this was a guy who lived two years as a professional gambler in Vegas, and another year living off his successful bets at the Santa Anita horse track. I could never be a professional or even compulsive gambler. I get too pissed off when I lose. I’ve had friends carrying 20-50K credit card debt, for years! I don’t know how they sleep, but they seem to. I would turn into a zombie.

    Imagine how different the United States would be in just about every way if we had debtors jail. Imagine living in a nation that understood fiscal accountability one way or another. Imagine the interest rates. Imagine the tax rates.

    Imagine all the people, living life in peace–or debtors prison.

  69. @Anonymous

    This is so true, I want to scream. 2020 was the year of the funeral/memorial, and everything we did exacerbated it.

    Something else to keep in mind: Democrats love inheritance taxes and they’re in control, so if you want to keep the gov’t out of your estate, giving away some of it early is a really good idea.

    And, think about old, semi-wealthy geezers. Do they really want to have to mind the estate and investments and all that? Let the kids deal with it. Plenty of oldsters (and youngsters) don’t trust greedy middlemen.

  70. Alden says:
    @LondonBob

    School tuition for grandchildren is where the money goes’ nowadays. As for homes shouldn’t the children of the older boomers now dying off already own homes ?

    Born 1950, early 30s in the Regean boom years continued with Clinton . Their children would have been born in the 1980s and should own homes by mid 30s.

    Our mother didn’t die till 94 by which time we were between 59. and 67. Nowadays better to give the money to the grandchildren rather than well established planning their own retirement late middle aged adult children.

  71. @Anonymous

    I recently sold an old comic book on ebay for almost $200. Original price: 12 cents.

    I have no idea what made it so valuable, or if anyone will ever read it. I certainly didn’t. I don’t even remember who the main character was.

  72. @LondonBob

    We’ve funded one child and will soon fund another.

    Unless your kids are very switched on and have been going for the money since choosing a university course, you pretty much have to help them if you can. House prices in the UK have gone from 3x average earnings in the 1970s to 8x now – and the “average” earnings figure has been pushed up by the mega-rich. Prices vs median earnings would be a better measure of affordability.

    It’s no good leaving the money to them when they’re in their 50s or 60s, they need help in the 20s or early 30s.

    • Agree: 3g4me, Alden, HammerJack, Cortes
    • Replies: @Cortes
  73. Alden says:
    @william munny

    Forgive my making assumptions, but do you know any boomers who selfishly don’t help their children? I doubt you do.

    • Replies: @william munny
  74. zoos says:
    @Arclight

    If Biden’s proposal to increase the inheritance tax and do away with stepped up basis appears to have a better than 50% chance of being enacted, I would expect to see a lot more homes and properties owned by the retired get transferred to their relatives much earlier than would be the case.

    Inheritance tax is the third rail of America. I believe the committee that tells Biden he’s awake in the morning have submitted their scheme for political purposes. It ain’t going nowhere.

    Inheritance tax should be unconstitutional, since it’s the double-taxing it’s dead victims.

    • Agree: Alden
    • Disagree: JohnPlywood
    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @Hermes
    , @Alden
    , @photondancer
  75. Bill says:
    @Anonymous

    You don’t need debtor’s prison. Just make credit card debt uncollectible. Presto, problem solved.

  76. @Morton's toes

    The best way to go is the way my dad went; owing a huge flux ton of money.

    There is an old joke about what one wants people to say about them at one’s funeral.

    What I want people to say is “wow that guy sure owed me a lot of money”

  77. Anon[552] • Disclaimer says:
    @Another Canadian

    The exemption level will be lowered. Maybe under Biden. Maybe later.

  78. Barnard says:
    @william munny

    Some of them should figure out if they hang onto all their money the nursing home is going to take a big chunk of it. It would be good planning to give consistently to their heirs once they hit their 70s. That is harder if a lot of their new worth is tied up in real estate, but can still be done. Some of them may not have good enough relationships with their children to trust them to transfer deeds to property while they are still alive.

  79. JMcG says:
    @zoos

    My liberal brother flipped out when he realized Pennsylvania has a 4.5% Estate Tax. Went on and on about how Mom and Dad had already been taxed on that money.

  80. Hermes says: • Website
    @Polistra

    But we don’t have an inheritance tax, we have an estate tax, and that’s what Republicans call a “death tax.” It’s not inaccurate, as it’s levied on the estate itself, not the heirs’ inheritances.

    • Replies: @Polistra
    , @bomag
  81. Hermes says:
    @zoos

    I’m not a leftist, but I’ve never understood the “that money’s already been taxed” argument. Is sales tax unjust because you’ve already paid income tax on the money you’re spending?

    • Replies: @Polistra
  82. dearieme says:
    @Prof Watson

    the Universal Church that Christ founded Christ founded a church? When was this discovered? Was it before or after his resurrection?

  83. Old Prude says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    In one Dickens novel the lawyers eat up the entire estate. That has happened to my wife’s relatives at least three times. Stupid guineas never stop bickering until there’s nothing left…

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  84. I probably pissed my kids of by getting the vax.

  85. @bomag

    The kind of thing that makes some sense, but I’ve seen it damage small business types trying to keep things together.

    That is the main problem with the inheritance tax. It breaks up family businesses that are worth a lot on paper but that says nothing about annual costs involved.

    The ultra wealthy can easily get around it through clever trusts and offshoring.

    Makes more sense to just raise the capital gains and gift taxes on the wealthy.

    • Agree: bomag
  86. @Alden

    I do. That is where my impression comes from. In one case, it is an obvious means to ensuring that the kids stay in contact. Not a bad strategy depending on the situation.

  87. @william munny

    It seems like the Boomers are the most selfish generation when it comes to their money and their kids. The middle class prides itself on having enough money to own a vacation home and pay a monthly car lease forever. Why not pay to set your kids up with a house or investment property and enjoy their success while you are alive? Instead, the kids are still paying student loans and racking up interest debt. When you leave your money to someone deep in debt and unprepared to manage it, you are only accelerating the shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves cycle.

    Hey, if your parents hate you …

    Most boomers, of course, don’t have big assets, though a fair number–lucky enough to have bought in desirable areas prior to the immigration inundation running prices through the roof–may be “house rich”. Boomers with assets are, of course, helping out their kids–college expenses, down payments. Many have provided free rent–their kids live at home.

    Lots of negative stuff has happened in the United States during my life, almost all of it political and cultural has ethnic, racial, social class and economic interest motivations.

    In the real word “generations” have almost no salience as a “group”. A random collection of people from various races, ethnicities and class backgrounds who happen to have been born at a particular period. People–normal people–love their kids and want good things just like they always have.

    If your understanding/critique starts with “Boomers” … you have already lost.

    • Agree: Paleo Retiree, LondonBob
    • Troll: JohnPlywood
    • Replies: @John Johnson
    , @AndrewR
  88. @Arclight

    If Biden’s proposal to increase the inheritance tax and do away with stepped up basis appears to have a better than 50% chance of being enacted, I would expect to see a lot more homes and properties owned by the retired get transferred to their relatives much earlier than would be the case.

    That is probably part of the plan with the basis change.

    I’m sure he thinks the stock market will get a boost from everyone running out and buying cars and homes for their kids after selling instead of holding.

    But I’ll believe it when I see it. Never underestimate how many Democrats in DC are on the side of the ultra-wealthy. The wealthy 1% will be infuriated by what he has proposed. I honestly wonder if he is just playing the Dem game of trying to soften congress for a compromise on some other tax.

    The Republicans are also digging in their heals on the capital gains tax.

    Another lame-o do nothing congress would be my guess.

  89. @AnotherDad

    If your understanding/critique starts with “Boomers” … you have already lost.

    Well some of us critique Boomers because that is where it started and never seemed to end.

    Boomers have completely taken over the Universities and packed most of the majors with race denial and White guilt. I had a quarter where every course was some boomer talking about how White people ruined everything. Even a business 105 course had a boomer telling us that Whites should be filled with shame. They didn’t seem to get that WE ALREADY GOT THAT LECTURE FROM 500 OTHER BOOMERS.

    To this day I haven’t met a conservative boomer in real life that can think clearly about race. They lose all sense of logic and go into some rant about MLK, boot straps or Christianity. They seem to short circuit and fall back to feely-good explanations. Liberal boomer women just look stressed by reality. Like they all need bong hits to get through the day.

    Steve is the exception. I would let him be a camp guard but he would need to keep his boomer star on.

    • Agree: Supply and Demand
    • LOL: Gabe Ruth
  90. jb says:
    @gda53

    This seems to happen fairly often, but only to Steve. I’ve never seen it happening to other contributors. And it’s just his article list — https://www.unz.com/isteve — that’s affected. The articles themselves are still accessible individually from the Unz front page.

  91. Boomer here. Fwiw, my Boomer-friends-with-children have been — and continue to be, lol — much more generous with their kids than their Greatest Gen parents were with them. (Of course there’s a lot more money around these days …) Greatest Gen parents who had some means were often pretty stern and clear about their financial responsibilities: we’ll put you through college, then you’re on your own, and after that who knows what’ll still be there when we die. By contrast ALL my Boomer friends are continuing to shell out money on their kids (for rent, cellphone contracts, cars, health-care insurance, etc) long after they’ve finished school.

    Two unpretty trends I’ve noticed:

    * While it used to be assumed that after leaving the nest a youngster’s financial status would sink for some years until it recovered and then eventually exceeded the parents’, a lot of Millennials and post-Millennials seem to expect to start adult life at their parents’ financial level and then proceed from there. They’re quite surprised and indignant if/when that doesn’t happen. Boomers suck!!!

    * I suspect that anxiety-about-whether-a-decaying-oldster’s-care-will-burn-up-the-family-fortune has been a thang for many generations. But youngsters have become a lot more open about giving voice to their greed, anxiety and impatience than people used to be. I’m really surprised by the number of “Die already, Boomer, and gimme your stuff!!!” postings and comments I’ve run across in recent years. People used to keep those sorts of feelings within the family … but that was when shame was still a thing.

    • Agree: AnotherDad, HammerJack
  92. @Mr. Anon

    I don’t speak retard

    You seem quite fluent in windowlicker, though.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  93. Btw, estates, inheritances, family money and family possessions (including kingdoms!) have been, like marriage, a huge topic in art and entertainment for millennia. Who’s going to inherit, y’know? Operas, Greek tragedies, “The Godfather,” innumerable romance novels and murder mysteries …

    • Agree: S. Anonyia, Clyde
  94. Anon[552] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    I assume Cohn had no heirs. I might feel the same way if I did not have heirs.

  95. AndrewR says:
    @Polistra

    What I never understood is why titles of nobility are male line only but the English monarchy is not. If you look at the history of English queens regnant, they always are highly dependent on men. Elizabeth I had William Cecil. Anne had the Duke of Marlborough. Victoria had Melbourne, then Albert, then John Brown, then Abdul. The present queen was highly reliant on Philip, whose death has left an irreplaceable vacuum.

    But even the English monarchy recognizes patriarchy. Princess Anne’s children were never entitled to royal titles. Their dad was never even given a noble title, unlike Margaret’s husband. But recently they have changed the law of succession so that an older sister will always outrank all her younger brothers. Very strange country.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  96. @Paleo Retiree

    Boomer here. Fwiw, my Boomer-friends-with-children have been — and continue to be, lol — much more generous with their kids than their Greatest Gen parents were with them… Greatest Gen parents who had some means were often pretty stern and clear about their financial responsibilities: we’ll put you through college, then you’re on your own, and after that who knows what’ll still be there when we die.

    During the Summer of Love, most parents temporarily disowned their children who went west to play, but Jews were ahead of the curve. They continued to help the kids out while they “found themselves”, knowing they’d eventually be back in the fold.

    Greatest Gen

    They certainly seemed to think so. It seems that every first boy born during or after the war was named for the most important person alive– his dad. Unless Dad was Junior himself. I don’t remember many IIIs.

    Whether “junioring” died out because it kept going downscale, as some have suggested, or because there were so many Juniors born in the ’40s and ’50s would be interesting to explore.

    Steve is an only child but not a junior. Was Ernie himself?

    • Replies: @Paleo Retiree
  97. AndrewR says:
    @Mr Deeds

    I am your age and my dad is 82 and in very poor health with a net worth a bit north of 1M. Unfortunately I have six siblings to split the money with so it won’t go too far even if the stock market bubble keeps expanding and he doesn’t blow all his wealth on medical and caregiving needs first. We have already started intercepting his mail. He was donating 1,000 bucks a week to random politicians and fly by night charities. His excuse was always Muh Tax Deductions.

    I’m glad I don’t have kids because none of my immediate family members are people I would want my children to turn out like.

    • Replies: @Anon
  98. Not Raul says:
    @JimB

    Huh. I have an acquaintance who came into a million dollars from his widower dad’s estate last November. It changed his life. He immediately moved from a rental in a bad neighborhood in the flats to his own place in a nice hilltop neighborhood 30 miles away. He never told me the cause of his dad’s death, but maybe it was COVID-19.

    Do you know how old his dad was? Was he older than 80?

    How was your acquaintance able to move so quickly? Generally, it takes a while for the deceased assets to become available to the heirs.

    • Replies: @JimB
    , @Muse
  99. @william munny

    I think it’s solidly upper middle class to own a vacation home, not middle class. To own a *good* vacation home you have to be rich. Unless you have beachfront property or a cabin deep in the mountains you can rent out to tourists, not worth the investment when you could spend the money instead on a variety of different vacation experiences several times a year. It’s really hilarious when Southerners buy lake houses. Why drop 300-600k on property overlooking a muddy snake-pit potentially full of weird bacteria and amoebas?

    Also keep in mind not all Boomers are flush. My parents couldn’t afford to buy a house until their early 30s when they already had children. My father didn’t really catch a break with promotions until he pushing 50 and I was about to leave for college. My mother had a decent job in healthcare but didn’t work FT until I was almost in middle school. I got scholarships to college, but my sibling did not so my parents did all kinds of risky borrowing to pay for their school (they aren’t non-binary or anything wacky it’s just good to keep details vague). My parents are finally scraping upper middle class, so I want them to enjoy their money instead of saving it for inheritance, especially since my spouse and I take nicer vacations than them and bought a house in our mid-20s.

    For those millennials struggling so much I’d implore you to serious consider relocating to a cheaper area. The plains states and Midwest are practically empty and cheap as hell. The South is moderately cheap, too, especially if you aren’t afraid to live near more “diverse” areas. Would recommend suburbs if you want public schools for the kids, but if you can afford private school or don’t have kids you can find a really nice job and home in most Southern cities.

  100. AndrewR says:
    @AnotherDad

    It’s useful to look at “boomer” as more a mentality than an age cohort. But the boomers as a whole inherited a relatively peaceful and culturally/ethnically homogenous society that was the world’s only major power that wasn’t devastated from the war, then they sat by while the borders were opened, the economy was gutted, and the country was sold out to Wall Street, and the Pentagon and Israel. And they’re entering their last decades by selling out younger generations. If none of this applies to you personally, that’s great. But clearly it applies to the boomers as a whole. This isn’t to say that older or younger generations have been more virtuous. But boomers, more than any other generation, symbolize the beginning of the decline of the American empire.

    • Replies: @Polistra
  101. Anon[307] • Disclaimer says:
    @Redneck farmer

    That’s an interesting observation, but it doesn’t seem intuitively correct. Before 1970, the average American was only middle-class. The grandparents of someone born in 1940 would have been, statistically speaking, born on a pre-WW 1 farm and had little wealth themselves.

    The great move from the farms to the cities did not occur until after World War 1. What’s more, the salaries for people who made the move to the city were not very large, and much of the wealth of the people who acquired wealth in the 1920s was wiped out by the Great Depression and the stock market crash in 1929.

    The grandparents of the Boomers were mostly people who started out with very little wealth themselves, and had a tough time of it for nearly a decade during the Great Depression. Grandparents who were retired by the 1950s, on average, simply didn’t have a lot of wealth the pass on.

    The only people who did were that segment of the population who happened to be genuinely rich, and even there, inflation and the necessity of dividing an inheritance among several grandchildren would have decreased the value of that money. Genuine trust fund grandkids are not that common.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  102. @Reg Cæsar

    That’s a great point about “junioring.” I feel like I never run across a “junior” these days, except a few black guys on TV sports. I’m a “III” myself.

  103. @mmack

    It’s weird – in my family, the Silents were the ones making the money, the Boomers were the ones pissing it away, and the Millennials are the ones picking up the pieces.

    I’m an only child. My mother has two siblings, each of whom had one child. One is two years older than me; we grew up together, spending our weekends and holidays at my grandparents’ house. (She’s the closest thing I have to a sister, and I’m the closest thing she has to a brother.) One is seven years younger; he’s basically a stranger.

    My mother is about 70, in poor health. She’s broke and in debt. She’s still working part-time and does not see full retirement as a viable option. She can’t manage her own affairs, so I’m the one who makes sure that her lights stay on and that she has food in her refrigerator.

    Just last month, she had to borrow money to pay her delinquent property taxes from two years ago. (If she didn’t pay the bill by 3 p.m. on March 31, she was going to lose her house. I got her to the tax office around 2:15. So she came literally within minutes of total disaster.) Incidentally, the house – which her mother helped her pay off – is falling apart.

    She used to own a second home, but after a succession of bad tenants trashed the place she allowed it to fall into total disrepair and sold it for peanuts.

    My father is a complete failure at life, having lived on and off the streets for many years. So merely by treading water, I am doing better than he ever did. The only area in which he has enjoyed greater success than me is in the Darwinian arena – he managed to pass on his genes, something I have not yet been able to accomplish.

    My aunt – my mother’s sister – is in her mid-60s. She’s essentially broke, as well. (She snorted God-only-knows how much money up her nose.) She lives off of her son-in-law – who is black, by the way. (He’s a nice guy – not terribly smart, but responsible and hard-working – who works for a county agency.) My cousin stays at home and gets drunk while her two kids play Fortnite into the wee hours of the night. They live in the house where my mother grew up. (My grandfather bought it brand-new in the mid-50s, when he was an ambitious young salesman with a wife and three young kids to feed. By the late ’70s, he had started his own company and was able to move to a much nicer neighborhood.)

    My aunt never worked a day in her life for anyone but her father. (The same is true of my uncle – my mother’s brother.) After Grandpa died, my mother’s siblings inherited his thriving business and ran it straight into the ground.

    I got a fairly sizable inheritance from my grandfather, on top of the money that my indulgent grandmother lavished on me throughout my youth. Grandma used to hand out twenty, fifty, even one-hundred-dollar bills like they were candy. My cousin and I both benefited from her largess – we were spoiled rotten. She blew her windfall on drugs and booze; I blew mine on my spergy hobbies.

    When I got the money, I bought all of the things I’d always wanted. (Being a total nerd, my list was quite different from that of the average person. I didn’t even consider buying a new car, for example.) Yes, I “pissed it away” – I failed to use it as a foundation to build lasting wealth. But I had a lot of fun and I scratched all of my materialistic itches. I can honestly say that I have everything I want.

    I am now almost completely indifferent to money. I’m perfectly content to go out in public wearing clothes with holes in them, walking a quarter-mile to the bus stop to do my shopping at Aldi and Dollar Tree. I get by, more or less, and I see that my mother gets by, more or less. I don’t have a wife and kids to worry about, and at this point I suspect that I never will. I want to pass on my genes, but I accept that it might never happen.

    I have a friend who’s several years younger than me. He’s just about 30 and his mother is in her mid-60s. She’s been an irresponsible flake all her life – partied hardy, slutted it up, had several kids with several different men, never saved a penny. After one of her other sons committed suicide last year, she went completely off the rails and had a total breakdown, requiring hospitalization. My friend had to dip into his savings just to keep his mother from ending up on the street. He has siblings – none of whom are as irresponsible as their mother – so he doesn’t have to bear the burden alone. But he, like me, is single and childless, and he, like me, is devoting the time, money, and energy that should be going to his own family to bail out his irresponsible mother.

    So, to those of you who stand to cash in, my congratulations. To those of you who are getting screwed, my sympathies. In my mid-thirties, I’ve already had the best and worst of both worlds.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  104. 3g4me says:
    @Prof Watson

    @54 Prof Watson: While genetic inheritance is neither to be disregarded nor downplayed, that your adult child has narcissistic personality disorder is more a testament to your lack of fitness as a father.

    As for leaving your estate to the church, Proverbs 13:22: ” A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.”

  105. @Paleo Retiree

    That’s a great point about “junioring.” I feel like I never run across a “junior” these days, except a few black guys on TV sports. I’m a “III” myself.

    Recently I attended Mass in a nearby city I was visiting. A baby was being baptized. He had his father’s name, and mine as well. Afterwards, I went up to the young father and told him I don’t approve of junioring in general, but was happy to make an exception in this case.

    The father told me his own father was the Junior. The baby was the IV. All four generations were present.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  106. Anonymous[405] • Disclaimer says:

    I saw a quip, something like:
    As the plague sends hundreds of thousands to the ICU and then the morgue, we will witness the greatest transfer of wealth in history, as hospitals try to confiscate estates.

    • LOL: photondancer
  107. Zoos says:
    @dearieme

    Not us. We own only one house (sob!). Our car is fully owned (as you’d expect, given that it is a 2005 model). We live comfortably (a couple of bottles of wine a week) but frugally (only a couple of bottles of wine a week).

    A grown ass man driving a 16 year old car isn’t living comfortably.

    It’s giving up on yourself.

    • Disagree: JMcG, mmack
  108. Marie H says:

    My husband and I are boomers. Our attorney told us a number of years ago to reduce the size of our estate to avoid the high estate tax in the state we live. We have been gifting our adult children money for their family needs up to the amount we can without causing a taxable event. We have also paid room, board and tuition for 2 grandkids.

    Biden and Dems support various changes in the tax laws so that folks with large estates will get hurt badly. One of the changes is disallowing the step-up in basis of real estate upon death. Another proposal is to eliminate the 1031 tax exchange to avoid capital gains tax on appreciated property.

    For folks with large estates, gifting and donating money while still alive helps reduce estate taxes and it helps offspring and others with money when they need it. Our son and his family needed a new car. They now have it. Son-in-law was unemployed because of Covid for 2 months. The family of four got a big check.

    I am sure that there are many boomers who are financially smart and have taken steps to help loved ones and charities of their choice. My alma mater gets large donations. With the Biden tax plan, I see more of this coming.

  109. Not Raul says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    “Junioring”, as you call it, has been around for dozens of generations. The fact that “the Greatest Generation” continued this tradition isn’t evidence that they thought too highly of themselves relative to earlier generations.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  110. Alden says:

    What about all the money for gas car repairs new tires and the rest saved by the lockdown. No commuting to work. No going out , no driving kids to school and activities more online shopping even for food.

    I’m sure all that money spent on car travel has been used for other things. Triple A claims 80 percent of car expenses is for commuting.

    • Replies: @mmack
  111. Alden says:
    @Paleo Retiree

    Greatest generation parents did t have to be generous with their kids. It was easy for a girl with the standard typing shorthand book keeping high school education to get a good life long career job with lots of scope for promotion. The draft hindered boys just out of high school for 3 years, but once that was over, so many apprenticeships, union factory jobs management trainee jobs they were set

    By the time the boomers children came of age, the good life was all over. The boomers had no choice but to help their children well
    into their 20’s America is full of White 25-40 year olds still looking for adult career type jobs, thinking of going back to school for another useless degree, still taking out their frustration by joining anti fa.

  112. JimWalker says:
    @Mr Deeds

    The end of your comment about women in the HR department is spot on. My old law firm had two of these!

  113. Alden says:
    @zoos

    Because of affirmative action discrimination against us, it’s getting increasingly impossible for Whites to make a living. In exchange for affirmative action discrimination, inheritance taxes should be eliminated for Whites.

    In California, the inheritance tax for real
    Estate, including principal residence, is so high most people can’t pay the inheritance tax and have to sell their parents house and then pay both the inheritance tax on the house and income tax on the proceeds. I’m pretty sure inheritance tax is on just the value of the property, not value minus mortgage.

    • Replies: @res
  114. Anonymous[966] • Disclaimer says:

    Not just consumer goods and investment assets, but basic commodity prices are surging, suggesting general inflation:

  115. @Redman

    In an effort to exaggerate the impacts of Covid, these globalist health organizations never take into account the massively aging population throughout the West. The same thing is happening throughout Europe.

    US deaths would have popped over 3m anyway in a few years as all Boomers climb a bit higher and lead Boomers enter “the death zone”.

    But that’s a tick, tick, tick thing. It doesn’t account for the death rate popping up 500,000–20% in one year.

    I’m firmly against the hysteria and the Democrats shenanigans with this thing (and the abysmally incompetent “public health” response) but the Xi virus–while not the plague or smallpox–nor even measles–is a very solid geezer killer. 10-50x what we get from the flu.

    ~~

    BTW, this accelerated Boomer die off is a–modest–financial boon to younger folks. Not just inheritances but some reduced government entitlement spending and reductions in housing demand. Unfortunately the younger folks getting it are not all the children of the Boomers, and continued immigration erases the benefit quite quickly.

  116. Alden says:
    @George

    Takes years of hearings for Wcom to pay for medical care and even more years to pay any cash compensation and some states have abolished cash compensation.

  117. @anon

    Any words from Mario Cuomo would be like a Delphic Oracle’s pronouncements from the grave!

  118. @Paleo Retiree

    Good comment Paleo. Certainly what i’ve seen in the college educated middle classes.

    On average Millennials have been pampered–not necessarily a good thing. And of course have come of age with the immediacy of the internet and cell phones and then as teenagers or young adults the smart phone heroin. Desire for employment, work effort and expectations are things older folks notice.

    However, there’s one area that clearly has gotten worse. Even though incomes are up dramatically, immigration has raised competition for elite positions and at the same time raised housing costs dramatically in the “hot” coastal metros.

    This–as Steve has really pointed out–delayed family formation and maturity.

    The #1 thing required is closing the border and stopping the immigration inundation. Stop exposing Americans to the world labor and housing markets. Americans are supposed to work and live in the American labor and housing markets.

    But a good #2 item, would be a eugenic fertility tax break. Nothing for stay singles. But a generous deduction–non-refundable, we should want this to be eugenic–for children. Enough so that middle class families in their child bearing years are essentially off the income tax rolls. Their contribution is having and raising children. (Well to do older folks and singles and financial transactions taxes and tariffs can pick up the slack.)

    Put those two in place:
    — stop immigration
    — raise the child deduction to remove middle class families-with-children from the income tax
    and the situation with Millenials and the Zoomers will improve dramatically.

    While i reject all the “Boomer …” nonsense as an analysis that completely misses the boat, we Boomers should acknowledge the “what’s gone wrong” part–Steve’s “affordable family formation”–and unite to fix it.

    • Agree: Paleo Retiree
    • Replies: @Polistra
  119. @Anon

    Should have gone into more detail. Iirc, the inheritances weren’t that big, but they were put into the stock market right as it was starting to take off. So it was really the richer boomers who benefited.

  120. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    Another possibility is that the current beneficiaries of inheritances, by and large, are Gen X, not Boomers. The Silent Generation is the one still filling nursing homes and retirement communities, and they’re more likely to have a higher death rate than Boomers. The oldest Boomers are 76, and plenty of people in their lower 70s are still active and live in their own home. They’re not in nursing homes or retirement communities yet. The latter two places are for people in their 80s.

    But the Silents were believers in saving their money, not spending, and their kids are Gen X. Gen X never had much in the way of nice stuff, so the current spending boom may be propelled by them. They’re playing catch-up with the Boomers when it comes to goodies. Can’t say I blame them. The Boomers always grabbed the good stuff off the table ahead of them, cheap housing, good jobs, etc.

  121. mmack says:
    @Alden

    I concur. I last changed the oil on my car last August. I see from the mileage at my oil change and the current odometer reading I have driven roughly 1,200 miles since then. I don’t drive to work every day, when I do drive it’s local trips of less than 20 miles total, and I fill the gas tank about once a month, if that.

    The Lovely ☺️ Mrs. is suggesting I buy a new car (mine is a 2013) but my thought is “Why? I’m hardly driving the car I own now.”

  122. Anonymous[323] • Disclaimer says:
    @Enemy of Earth

    Respectfully, this is a terrible idea. My parents have the exact same mentality. They’ve accumulated quite a bit of a fortune over their lifetime and they probably have at least a couple decades more to go. By the time my siblings and I inherit anything we will easily be in our mid fifties, well beyond any point at which it would have been useful. I graduated from college right before the financial crisis hit. My student loans combined with the job market forced me to make some pretty horrible career choices that I wish I could have avoided. Give your kids the money while they can still use it.

    • Replies: @Zoos
    , @kaganovitch
  123. Polistra says:
    @AndrewR

    Near as I can tell, the early boomers had it made from the get-go, but those born after Steve, not so much. Complicating this little narrative of mine is Vietnam, which was clearly a nightmare to be avoided at all costs. Otoh there seemed to have been a lot of college deferments, etc. Before my time, fortunately.

  124. didn’t we just go thru an entire round of “the virus is killing fat people and vibrant people”?

    they usually don’t have estates, and die without much wealth. we know for sure that fat people make less money, because they’re less intelligent, and they die sooner too, missing out on that last 15 years where the wealth really stacks up. and we’re subject to endless lectures about how africans have net negative worth. mexicans probably aren’t far off.

    so other than 75 year old boomers dying, i’m not sure where this sudden wealth transfer would be happening. half the deaths from the virus aren’t coming along with an estate to transfer.

    and yes, boomers have selfishly locked up most of the wealth and real estate and won’t let go of it until they die, so a great wealth transfer is on the precipice. but not generally due to this virus.

  125. Polistra says:
    @AnotherDad

    But a good #2 item, would be a eugenic fertility tax break.

    The new plan is a $3000 to $3600 credit per child. Seems very generous to me.

    And to the contrary, not everyone should be having children.

  126. Neoconned says:
    @El Dato

    Btw thanx for both the explanation and also the book recommendation…..do you see 2000s type Japanese deflation or Argentinean inflation on the horizion….?

  127. @Not Raul

    “Junioring”, as you call it, has been around for dozens of generations. The fact that “the Greatest Generation” continued this tradition isn’t evidence that they thought too highly of themselves relative to earlier generations.

    In 17th- to 19th-century America the most common practice was to name the first boy for his paternal grandfather and the second for the maternal. If dad wanted to name a son after himself, he would have to sire a third boy.

    This sensible custom broke down by the 20th century. Recently I’d read that this was a class thing– the élite started doing it, then it continued down the class ladder. After which the élite lost interest.

    A lot of name trends follow this pattern.

    • Thanks: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Cortes
  128. @Anonymous

    If the credit card holder and issuer are both willing to carry that debt, what problem is it of yours?

    • Replies: @Zoos
  129. @zoos

    Inheritance tax is NOT a tax on the person who died. It’s a tax on the inheritors. They have received income and are being taxed on it just like any other form of income they might receive (except for the specific loopholes around gifts). I get tired of the double-tax fallacy. Why should people who work hard for their money have to give some of it away while others who’ve done nothing and are just given it are allowed to keep all of it?

    • Replies: @Zoos
  130. Neoconned says:
    @El Dato

    Btw….do you think NFTs are some kinda …..i guess Silicon Valley maybe Hindu and/or other Asian organized crime moving money to…..Singapore? Switzerland?

    That reminds me of 2 things….1….the film “The Room”……i recall several people talking about how the original cast didn’t understand how the film got made or where the foreign dude got his money for the budget from…..they assumed it was some kinda weird Eastern European mob money laundering thing…..

    Then there’s my old manager…..i worked once as a prep cook & a dishwasher at this Asian guy’s cajun slash seafood restaurant….in the same strip mall he also owned a low rent club and cbd shop.

    Anyway he always seemed to be top heavy with his staff & was weirdly chill about how his restaurant was run. I think he was Vietnamese…..anyway his club frequently featured wannabe Vietnamese rapper shows & the like….

    Anyway he’d sit there at his bar ALL DAY and sip cocktails and watch the football games…..anyway 1 time i expressed concern about his Lexus being in trouble to which he said “….its just a dumb car…..”

    Being in the restaurant business in different sub sectors there of for 20 odd years i know how cutthroat it is and i was baffled that he had such a laid back attitude to restaurant management….

    He never paid me via check but with cash…..under the table and the 1 time he did pay me with a check it was a business acct. check from his bank…..not a payroll check….it bounced….when i confronted him he pulled out a “roll” of cash….probably 10k or more and gave me 300$….50$ more for my trouble & wink wink to keep it quiet….

    I could never figure him out at the time but now i think his cbd shop and other businesses were some kinda money laundering front for his Vietnamese mafia stuff.

    He was a cool dude & treated me well so i didn’t ask too many questions and didn’t stick my nose where it didn’t belong…..

    • Replies: @anon
  131. Anon[225] • Disclaimer says:
    @AndrewR

    I am your age and my dad is 82 and in very poor health with a net worth a bit north of 1M. Unfortunately I have six siblings to split the money with so it won’t go too far even if the stock market bubble keeps expanding and he doesn’t blow all his wealth on medical and caregiving needs first.

    You can see the rationale behind primogeniture from cases like this.

    That inheritance divided 6 ways is a nice amount but not enough to dramatically change things like it would if it were undivided. Under primogeniture, that inheritance could catapult the inheritor into a prominent local citizen with all that entails in terms of connections and more money making opportunities. The other 5 siblings would benefit indirectly. People throw jobs, money, connections at people just for being related to someone moderately wealthy.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  132. JimB says:
    @Not Raul

    How was your acquaintance able to move so quickly? Generally, it takes a while for the deceased assets to become available to the heirs.

    Good question. Our elderly neighbor’s estate took four years to probate.

    • Replies: @FPD72
  133. Zoos says:
    @Anonymous

    Respectfully, this is a terrible idea. My parents have the exact same mentality. They’ve accumulated quite a bit of a fortune over their lifetime and they probably have at least a couple decades more to go. By the time my siblings and I inherit anything we will easily be in our mid fifties, well beyond any point at which it would have been useful. I graduated from college right before the financial crisis hit. My student loans combined with the job market forced me to make some pretty horrible career choices that I wish I could have avoided. Give your kids the money while they can still use it.

    Respectfully, you don’t deserve it.

    Interestingly, you said “give your kids the money,” not “give your kids YOUR money,” as if they’re the gatekeepers to a treasure they didn’t work, strategize, and sweat for.

    You rephrased it because deep down, you know taking other people’s money is wrong, and using the latter, more accurate phrase would frame you as a demanding parasite. That’s a terrible mindset.

    Also, the perception that you wouldn’t be able to do anything with the money in your fifties only highlights your historic ineffectiveness and hardcore belief in your limitations. Limitations some other people don’t have. I know of people who’s most prosperous time was in their fifties, sixties, and even seventies. Try setting goals, working out three times a week, and not eating garbage. It makes your fifties a hell of a lot easier.

    Your parents are wise to hold off on giving you their money. Your weak mindset disqualifies you from taking on any further responsibilities, such as money not worked for. It would only make you weaker.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  134. Muse says:
    @Not Raul

    Smart money does not go through probate. 401 K and IRA funds should always have beneficiaries kept up to date. This money moves to the beneficiary as soon as you can get the death certificate to the custodian (Think vanguard/fidelity et al).

    Anything else should be handled via a trust to avoid probate. You don’t want to handle estates in probate, especially in states like FL where attorneys handling estates through wills and therefore probate get a guaranteed percentage of the estate in fees regardless of the work they do.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  135. JMcG says:
    @Stan Adams

    Good luck to you, brother. I met my wife at 34, was married at 36, first kid at 36. Three more after that. You’re way too young to start writing off options.

  136. @S. Anonyia

    It’s really hilarious when Southerners buy lake houses. Why drop 300-600k on property overlooking a muddy snake-pit potentially full of weird bacteria and amoebas?

    It’s not just Southerners; there’s plenty of this in the Midwest as well. I also don’t get it, i.e. the desire to sink so much of one’s money and time into a single vacation property. But it obviously appeals to lots of people.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
  137. @Prof Watson

    Be careful, have several estate attorneys look over your will:

    https://counter-currents.com/2019/06/majority-estate-planning/

    They are easily and often overturned by would-be inheritor challenges.

  138. anon[268] • Disclaimer says:
    @Neoconned

    Now you mention money laundering –
    Albanian mafia and female popstars.
    https://counter-currents.com/2021/03/its-a-hit/

  139. Polistra says:
    @Hermes

    I need you to elaborate, at your convenience.

    Or point me to a good source, thanks

    • Replies: @Hermes
  140. Polistra says:
    @Hermes

    Tax pyramiding–yet another aspect I don’t fully grasp. Seems to me that as income and expenditures (flip sides of the same coin) migrate through the economy, they are taxed again and again, until ~all wealth redounds to the State. But that can’t be right.

  141. dvorak says:
    @Neoconned

    Can someone explain to me what an NFT is and how to make 1 and i presume bring it to market?

    Here ya go, ya jamoke!

  142. Mr. Anon says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    You seem quite fluent in windowlicker, though.

    It helps in interpreting your posts.

    • LOL: JMcG
    • Replies: @iDeplorable
  143. AndrewR says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    It depends on how often you go and how far it is. My dad’s parents had a lake house when he was growing up. They hung out with Charlton Heston’s parents.

    My dad’s sister and her husband bought the nextdoor house in the 1970s. It was only about an hour from where they lived in Saginaw and they went up every weekend in the warmer months. So to me, this investment made sense. When my grandparents died, my aunt and UIL inherited the other house, which is now owned by their daughters after their dad died. It’s strange because their daughters have all spent their entire adult lives outside of MI and they only visit the cabin once or twice a year. One of my cousins even bought a lake house in Wisconsin but she still owns part of the Michigan cabin. But she and her husband are loaded so I guess rich people are gonna do what they’re gonna do

  144. Neoconned says:
    @Mr. Anon

    This.

    And in large parts of the country where all the factories are gone and the mills shuttered your options are(I’m serious)……hang out by the interstate freeway with a beggar sign or some variation of fast food or gas station or motel service work…..

    Even jobs that pay say 5 bux over minimum wage are highly competitive…..and the hispanics have taken over ALL the building trades……

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  145. Anonymous[323] • Disclaimer says:
    @Zoos

    Sounds like a guy who didn’t turn out too well as a parent complaining about other people’s kids. You are hilarious. Enjoy dying alone.

    • Replies: @Zoos
  146. Zoos says:
    @photondancer

    Inheritance tax is NOT a tax on the person who died. It’s a tax on the inheritors. They have received income and are being taxed on it just like any other form of income they might receive (except for the specific loopholes around gifts). I get tired of the double-tax fallacy. Why should people who work hard for their money have to give some of it away while others who’ve done nothing and are just given it are allowed to keep all of it?

    It’s not a fallacy. After you’ve paid income tax, you should not have that same pool of income taxed again under the guise of “income” via the beneficiary after your death. It’s one of the earned benefits of being successful. It’s part of what motivates people to innovate, and work 18 hour days for years on end.

    Get it through your head: the government isn’t your boss, or your paternal figure.

    The government is made up of men and women. Mostly fat, stupid, greasy, psychopathic men and women. They carry with them the power of the state, which means guns. That’s how they get their tax money every year. If you don’t pay it, you’ll wind up being shot in the face by a representative of the state.

    Your advocation for these idiots to extract my already taxed earned income is the mindset of a thug.

    A very envious thug.

    Get a life, and leave grandpa’s money alone. Get out and make something of yourself so you can leave your already taxed fortune to your kids, your wife, your mistress, or the fucking whales. It should be none of the government’s business to shake down the dead.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @RadicalCenter
  147. LondonBob says:
    @AndrewR

    There is a school of thought Elizabeth I was more a figurehead, a propaganda creation, and that the Cecils ran the show, on issues where there was known divergent opinion between Elizabeth and the Cecils, William and Robert always determined policy. I doubt this is a perspective that has been given greater scrutiny in recent years.

    • Thanks: bomag
  148. Zoos says:
    @Anonymous

    Sounds like a guy who didn’t turn out too well as a parent complaining about other people’s kids. You are hilarious. Enjoy dying alone.

    If paying the likes of you off is what’s required to maintain familial social agency, give me a burro, a compass, and a prairie bag. There are far more emotional rewards to be had wandering out alone amongst the reptiles and Joshua trees, than waving hundred dollar bills under the flaring nostrils of your crooked nose to attract your mean, wretched attention.

    Your parents don’t owe you squat, silly man.

    Give it up, and get grateful.

  149. JMcG says:
    @Zoos

    I would just use the agree button, but I agree too much with your comment! People are such doormats. Any cent kept away from the wormy hands of the political class is a victory.

  150. bomag says:
    @Hermes

    Distinction without a difference.

  151. @Anon

    That’s already in progress, #302, with no talk about race (yet). I don’t normally follow this too closely, but Pat Buchanan’s latest column mentioned an increase in inheritance tax. Now all these alt-right “muh taxes” people will tell you that they don’t care about all this. Minor tweaks of tax rates are surely less important than the existential issues, but the changes often build slowly to become existential issues of White People.

  152. @Anonymous

    I agree almost completely with your comment (not completely sure about debtor’s prison – just don’t have Socialism, and it works out), but especially with your and your Dad’s financial mentality. That’s my family for you too, except for the Vegas part. I also can’t stand to lose. I put a quarter in a machine at the Reno airport about 20 years back, got a buck out, and figured I’m ahead, so that’s it!

  153. @Old Prude

    Yes indeed, I know it well, because the original case on which Dickens’s Jarndyce vs Jarndyce lawsuit was based involved ancestors of mine, so it is a family affair.

  154. Clyde says:
    @LondonBob

    You upper crust lot in London. (saying respectfully and having fun/ I lived in London 4 months) I read the UK Daily Mail every day. Whatever mad money printing you have is 25% of what our Federal Reserve Bank has in gear. This is why bitcoin soars. There is a bitcoin limit but none on what the Federal Reserve Bank can brrr.. electronically print out and send brrr… into Banks hard drives all over the the US and the world

    Hopefully these are 2.5″ SSD drives/ The NVMe run too hot.

  155. Clyde says:
    @Paleo Retiree

    Most excellent post touching on a few good points. I loved my father and never gave him any “Die now vibes” I lived close by and visited frequently. He lived to 94. I inherited something nice between me and me sis.

  156. Travis says:
    @Tono Bungay

    in 2018 When My maternal Grandmother passed away it took 2 years for her children to get their inheritance…most of the money was in her home, which took 11 months to sell.

    When my paternal Grandfather passed away in 2009 it took 3 years to get my inheritance.

  157. Anon[319] • Disclaimer says:

    I’m at the very end of the baby boom, born in 1964. My parents were Silent Generation, born in the late ’30s. My father said the post-WWII boom was wonderful, and very easy to get a decent job w/ only a high school education. My father ended up getting an AS Engineering degree at night, while working, with four toddlers. My mom stayed at home until my parents divorced in their early 40s. We lived comfortably middle-class, but my parents did not accumulate a lot of wealth.

    My mom, a smoker, died at 70, and left a $40K IRA to be split among the four kids. My dad is in his mid-80s, still independent and active, and recently advised that he’s leaving an estate of about $500K.

    On the other hand, my kids and nephews (late teens, Gen Z) all will have their educations fully paid and, perhaps, first houses, and will each inherit $2MM to $5MM+, but that likely won’t be for 30 years. If that were me, I think I might find it hard to go to work everyday. Similar situation for several peers.

    I think the largest transfer of wealth will be to the Gen Z’rs.

    The current and future wealth transfer is going to drive inflation – more dollars chasing same or fewer goods (i.e. housing).

    • Replies: @JMcG
  158. It’s a factor.
    The other factor is just new money in the system.
    It used to be that if there was too much selling and buying then the financial system could lock up because there wouldn’t be enough money to cover all the transactions. This created what we used to call a “financial crisis” and resulted in less economic activity, which we called a recession.
    Now the Fed has guaranteed that if there is buying and selling, there will always, always be cash to cover the buying and selling, so when, several times since January, 2020, the actions of millions of retail stock holders and money managers would normally have crippled the system, they had the novel effect of creating stock-market flash sales where people could buy up shares for cheap, and they quickly did.
    Eventually all of those transactions settle and there’s two effects: 1) people who didn’t have cash before, do, and 2) people who hold assets, hold assets that are valuated higher, which among other things makes them eligible for more fiat debt – so it’s a cycle and bottom line is we get more and more cash in the system.
    In my humble opinion – it’s not all bad, it’s just that our politics have caused us to sidestep the question of how this money is created and distributed and : there is a pretty good argument , that if we are going to just poof money, we should probably poof it from the bottom up, or at least have a mechanism for that.

    The powers – Republican and Democrat – are both quite happy if we keep disputing identity politics and not allow “the conversation” to turn to such uncomfortable matters of fiscal and monetary infrastructure reform.

  159. Hermes says:
    @Polistra

    https://www.thebalance.com/difference-between-estate-and-inheritance-tax-3505472

    One easy to think of distinction is that it matters at what point taxes “kick in.” Currently, the federal estate tax is on estates over $11.7 million in value. So if someone dies with an estate of $11.6 million and leaves it all to one heir, that heir gets all $11.6 million. But if someone dies with an estate of $23.2 million and splits it 50/50 between two heirs, quite a bit of tax is levied on that $23.2 million so the heirs each get significantly less than $11.6 million.

  160. @Muse

    Smart money does not go through probate. 401 K and IRA funds should always have beneficiaries kept up to date.

    Excellent point. You can also set up your bank accounts to be TOD (transfer on death). You can create a living trust and put your house in it. That leaves your car and your personal property in your will and even that you can put into your trust. Nolo.com has excellent software for doing this. It’s not real hard.

    In N VA, there are a few firms (Micheal Collins) who will do most of this for you for about $2500. Anything more is unreasonable for just filling out forms.

  161. @Mr. Anon

    It helps in interpreting your posts.

    His thousands and thousands of stupid, off-topic, unfunny posts. Over 32,000 total, on pace to blow through 7,000 this year alone.

    Reg is a decrepit boomer moron.

  162. @Anonymous

    Respectfully, this is a terrible idea.

    Methinks you need to reread the post you’re responding to.

  163. Zoos says:
    @photondancer

    If the credit card holder and issuer are both willing to carry that debt, what problem is it of yours?

    Because it’s unchecked malicious usury that preys on the weak.

    See: The Bible

    • Agree: Enemy of Earth
  164. JMcG says:
    @Anon

    That’s why my kids have no idea what I’ll be leaving them.

  165. @Anon

    You can see the rationale behind primogeniture from cases like this.

    When wealth/power was all about land it made a lot more sense.

  166. Flip says:
    @Anon

    I don’t think the current $11 million exemption will survive the Democrats.

  167. Cortes says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Inheritance tax in the UK was (I believe – think I heard this once when studying Tax Law) designed to be a progressive tax: its provisions encourage transfer of wealth to younger, more energetic family members during their productive years. Those families ruled by an aged control freak either heed professional advice or get a severe haircut from the taxman.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @LondonBob
  168. @Cortes

    Science journalist Matt Ridley is the fifth baronet of Something. His father, the fourth, and mother moved out of the dynastic manor when Ridley was entering his prime so the younger man could have the big house for entertaining and the like to boost his career while his mom and dad moved into the smaller guest house on the estate. Seems like a good system, especially if you happen to have an estate.

    • Replies: @Cortes
  169. Cortes says:
    @Steve Sailer

    A sensible move. Easing out while remaining available to provide advice as needed/sought. Family is an ongoing business after all: some difficult choices have to be made. Umpteen generations of success are unlikely to occur by chance. And the folk wisdom of the proverbial dig at upstart entrepreneurs

    “Clogs to clogs in three generations”

    must have some basis in reality.

  170. FPD72 says:
    @JimB

    How was your acquaintance able to move so quickly? Generally, it takes a while for the deceased assets to become available to the heirs.

    During the last two years of my father’s life he added me to all of his accounts. It was mainly so I could help with bills if needed but when he died all I had to do was show the institution a certificate of death and the account became mine without going through probate. The total of his assets was well under the exemption for estates but was still a nice chunk of change. I was an only child so it was all pretty simple. Of course, he had to have a high level of trust in me; a larcenous son could have cleaned him out. Unfortunately, such things happen.

    Another possibility is life insurance, if the beneficiaries are not the estate. Again, no need for probate.

  171. profnasty says:
    @JimB

    The old man might have died from fascis pelosi, ‘face-pillow’.
    It’s common in large inheritance situations.

  172. LondonBob says:
    @Cortes

    After seven years any gifts are considered free of inheritance tax, it is on a descending scale from 40% as the years pass by. Due to massive house price inflation the £325k plus level ensnares a lot more than it should do, they have bumped it up to £500k per parent provided the family home is passed on to children or grandchildren, so effectively £1m.

    • Replies: @Cortes
  173. Cortes says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    In Scotland the practice in Gaelic areas was to name the second child for the maternal grandfather which led to grotesque results. I’ve seen Williamina, Murdina, Donaldina, Johnina and Hughina examples up to around the 1950s. Nine times out of ten, of course, the names were reduced to “Ina” in daily life.

  174. res says:
    @Another Canadian

    Why subject yourself to accounting gymnastics to avoid the gift tax when the estate tax exemption is already so high?

    Some reasons.

    1. Time value of money. $1M gifted now is worth more than $1M gifted in 20 years (assuming the exemption does not change).
    2. Help people when they need it. Covered by several comments in this thread.
    3. Uncertainty about the future exemption. (does anyone know how it works if one has gifted less than the exemption, but the exemption is subsequently lowered?)
    4. Shrinking the estate to enable meeting wealth thresholds for care aid.

    If anyone is interested in this topic, this is a decent primer.
    https://www.schwab.com/resource-center/insights/content/the-estate-tax-and-lifetime-gifting

    In particular, note this. Explains why paying for school is so popular among the older rich.

    You can also make unlimited payments directly to medical providers or educational institutions on behalf of others for qualified expenses without incurring a taxable gift or affecting your $15,000 gift exclusion.

    Thinking about that a bit more, I wonder how much that explains the explosion in college tuition.

    Also worth noting the cost basis issue.

    How to minimize taxes for recipients

    One thing to remember about the assets you gift is that your cost basis will transfer over to the recipient. So, if that asset has appreciated in value significantly prior to the gift, the recipient could incur the substantial taxable gain when selling that asset. Highly appreciated assets that are received as part of an estate, on the other hand, generally get a “step up” in basis, which means a taxable gain could be avoided if the asset is sold soon after being received.

    In a nutshell, you need to carefully select what assets you gift to minimize the impact of taxes. In general, cash and assets with little appreciation are better for gifts while highly appreciated assets are better to transfer as part of your estate.

  175. res says:
    @Alden

    In California, the inheritance tax for real
    Estate, including principal residence, is so high most people can’t pay the inheritance tax and have to sell their parents house and then pay both the inheritance tax on the house and income tax on the proceeds. I’m pretty sure inheritance tax is on just the value of the property, not value minus mortgage.

    Could you elaborate on this? I would expect you to be knowledgeable about this since based on your comments here this should affect your family significantly, but what you are saying is the opposite of what I see.

    According to this page.
    https://socalhomebuyers.com/selling-inherited-house-in-california

    Not only does California not have estate taxes or inheritance taxes (this surprises me, is it true?), there is also a step up in basis upon inheritance so you essentially pay no capital gains tax if sold immediately.

    The big change recently is Prop 19 which eliminates the exemption from property tax reassessment upon inheritance by family members. This IS a big deal for people who inherit highly appreciated property which had low taxes because of Prop 13.

  176. @Mr Deeds

    Happy for them, but your peers (like some of our friends and relatives) are utterly UN-representative of Americans in this regard. I’ll guess that they were already in the top 20% of household income and/or net worth, probably top 5-10%, if an inheritance enabled them to retire very early, buy a luxury vehicle, or buy a house.

    Over the past thirty years, the consistent pattern is that only about 20% of people received an inheritance. Even then, the median inheritance was only $55,000 in 2017:

    https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-11-29/boomers-are-thriving-on-an-unprecedented-9-trillion-inheritance#:~:text=The%20median%20inheritance%20has%20risen%20only%20about%20%2415%2C000,1989%2C%20their%20inheritances%20averaged%20an%20inflation-adjusted%20%242.7%20million.

    That’s not nearly enough for many luxury vehicles, or even for a downpayment on a decent home in many places now.

    The typical (median) American never receives an inheritance, let alone one big enough to do any of the things you’re talking about.

    As for simply quitting work, that would require an unusually large inheritance to be a responsible choice for most people with children. Nor is it generally a kind, responsible choice for a man who can leave behind greater resources for his (younger) wife’s retirement by continuing to work. The median inheritance of $55,000 isn’t doing to enable most people to retire young, unless they are single and childless and have nobody to save and provide for … and are willing to live quite a limited and/or isolated lifestyle in the USA because they stopped working too soon. Same with an inheritance of $250,000, and only a really small percentage of Americans inherit that much.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  177. @RadicalCenter

    PS This source states the US median inheritance in 2015 was $69,000. Doesn’t change the analysis, just wanted to note this slightly higher figure.

    https://www.newretirement.com/retirement/average-inheritance-how-much-are-retirees-leaving-to-heirs/#:~:text=Different%20studies%20suggest%20different%20levels%20of%20average%20inheritance.,median%20inheritance%20was%20%2469%2C000%20%28the%20average%20was%20%24707%2C291%29.

    Note how the median inheritance is less than one-tenth of the average inheritance. As with so many indicators of economic well-being, averages tell us little to nothing about how the “typical” American or most Americans live.

    • Agree: 3g4me
    • Thanks: JohnnyWalker123
  178. @Zoos

    We should take the billionaires’ ill-gotten loot while they’re alive — putting them in prison, in some cases — and leave everyone else’s legitimately earned estates alone.

    • Agree: photondancer
  179. Suspect the Covid era has also crushed travel/vacation plans and redirected those budgets towards home improvement. People are or were eating out way less often too.
    There’s probably the beginnings of the Baby Boomer fade away also, with those born after WW2 passing on their enormous nest eggs.

  180. Cortes says:
    @LondonBob

    Thanks.

    The range of people being caught out by the IHT provisions is pretty broad but in common they share inadequate succession planning. Setting up mechanisms to, for example, skip a generation where the immediate heirs are (perceived as) incapable for whatever reason, takes time and confidence in your legal advisors. Many of the beneficiaries of house price inflation may lack the sophistication to appreciate the need for forward planning – until they face the prospect of their own mental or physical deterioration involving the personal care which will consume their modest capital very quickly. And by then it’s too late for a lot of them.

    The seven year IHT gift period was one of the most progressive taxation provisions Parliament ever made.

  181. @Neoconned

    The overuse of the ellipsis breaks up the flow of text and makes it harder to read.

  182. vinny says:

    Yes, the one year they can’t burn it all away on cruises.

  183. @Anonymous

    if you know what your doing, declaring bankruptcy is stealing.

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