Newsweek, October 11, 1999


Family money, passed down, may be your last, best shot at living well when you retire.

By Jane Bryant Quinn

Many a boby boomer has a single retirement strategy: inherit the money. That's not an unreasonable idea. Thanks to America's sturdy economic growth, the older generation holds a vast amount of wealth. More than half of the boomers 50 to 53 expect an inheritance of some sort, according to a recent survey by the AARP Investment Program for Scudder.

But how well will baby boomers manage their windfall? A reader from Texas speaks for much of her generation: "We recently received an inheritance," she writes, "But we have never had money to invest and are completely at a loss." A more experienced investor from Woodmere, N.Y. is throwing in the towel. "My father left me an inheretance and I have been trying to manage that portfolio, as well as my husband's pension plan," she writes. "I need advice."

Financial planners see all too many mistakes: