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Rich Keep Getting Richer: New Survey Shows Inheritance is Key to Wealth in Ireland

Well, well, well, it turns out that in Ireland, the rich just keep getting richer while the poor…a new survey shows that the distribution of wealth in Ireland is pretty unequal, with some households accumulating a whole lot more wealth than others. And, what’s one of the biggest factors determining how rich you are? Inheritance, baby!

The survey, called the Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS), found that 36% of Irish households had received an intergenerational wealth transfer of at least one substantial gift or inheritance by 2020. About 30% of these households had received an inheritance, while 9% had gotten a substantial gift. And get this: 21% of Irish households are still hoping to receive an inheritance or gift at some point in the future.

So, what kind of assets are being transferred? Well, the most common type of transfer among households that received a transfer was cash. About 57% of recipient households got some cold, hard cash. But some lucky folks even got homes or land handed down to them.

And here’s an interesting tidbit: older households and those without children under 18 were more likely to receive an intergenerational wealth transfer. And the higher up a household was in the wealth and income distribution, the more likely they were to have received an inheritance or gift.

Now, let’s talk about the relationship between these transfers and a household’s current wealth and income. The survey found that households that had received an intergenerational transfer had higher net wealth than those that had not received a transfer. And get this: the net wealth of households that received an intergenerational transfer was a whopping €334,100, compared to €133,100 for households that hadn’t received a transfer.

All in all, the survey has some pretty big implications for both policymakers and individuals in Ireland. The unequal distribution of wealth is a problem, and it’s important to consider ways to address this issue. And if you’re hoping to inherit a fortune one day, it might not hurt to start buttering up your grandparents.