BOSTON (CBS) – The reality is there may not be much money to inherit from mom and dad.

Today’s retirees are wealthier than previous generations and the media has been reporting for years that there is mega money coming, the greatest intergenerational wealth transfer. But that wealth may not get to the heirs.

And according to The Center on Wealth & Philanthropy at Boston College, there are trillions of dollars that the Boomers could inherit.

But according to a study done by two Federal Reserve economists working for the Bank of Cleveland, Boomers still need to plan on funding their own retirement by saving and investing during their working years because they may not inherit very much from mom and dad.

There are lots of reasons for this. I have summarized their findings:

  1. Much of the wealth of the current retiree is in the form of pensions and Social Security benefits that can not be passed to the children upon death.
  2. Today’s retirees are spending down their assets at a faster rate than their predecessors did several decades ago.
  3. Today’s retirees are living longer. Mortality rates are lower now than at any time in the past. As current retirees age they will deplete assets they may have earmarked for their children. Nursing home costs are over $100,000 a year in Massachusetts.
  4. Only 22% of current retirees believe it is important to leave an inheritance for their children. You’ve seen the bumper sticker, “Retired & Spending My Kids’ Inheritance”.
  5. Too many siblings sharing too few dollars. Large families usually will split the inheritance equally.
  6. The rich will get richer. The very wealthy will leave large legacies to a very small number of heirs.
  7. This last one is more common than you think; your parents may re-marry and want to share their money with their new spouse. For example, Anne Nicole Smith.