In her book Storytelling & the Art of Imagination, author Nancy Mellon writes, "Storytelling gives us love and courage for life ... storytelling puts us in touch with strengths we may have forgotten, with wisdom that has failed or disappeared, and with hopes that have fallen into darkness."
Maybe the financial havoc wreaked by the recession has given post 50s a new appreciation for the courage, strength, wisdom and hope found in stories -- because 86 percent of baby boomers surveyed agreed that family stories are the most important aspect of their legacy, according to a new survey from the Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. Its American Legacies Pulse Study surveyed boomers (age 47 to 66) and "elders" (those age 72+) about inheritance issues.
Stories ranked ahead of personal possessions (64 percent) and the expectation of inheritance for financial well-being (9 percent). Both boomers and elders said that inheritance is not something a parent owes to a child.
But while they agree that an emotional legacy outweighs a financial one, boomers and elders don't always see eye to eye on other aspects of inheritance. Check out the slideshow below for more.
86 percent of Boomers say family stories are very important for keeping my family history and memories alive; 74 percent of Elders agree.
75 percent of Boomers say it's extremely important that future generations remember their parents and what mattered to them; only 53 percent of elders agree.
64 percent of Boomers agree that personal possessions are very important for keeping my family history alive; only 58 percent of elders agree.
84 percent of Boomers say it's very important that parents have living wills or instructions if they are terminally ill or permanently unconscious; 82 percent of elders agree.
63 percent of Boomers say "it's none of my business what my parents plan to do with their inheritance;" only 39 percent of elders agree.
43 percent of Boomers say it's their responsibility to start a conversation with parents about their legacy; 78 percent of elders say the responsibility belongs to them.
18 percent of Boomers say that adult children with a greater financial need should receive a greater share of inheritance; 23 percent of elders agree.
10 percent of Boomers agree that adult children who share their parents' core values and beliefs should receive a larger inheritance; 15 percent of elders agree.
8 percent of Boomers agree that adult children who have more dependents should receive a greater share of inheritance; 10 percent of elders agree.
7 percent of Boomers agree that adult children who are more financially responsible should receive a greater share of inheritance; 11 percent of elders agree.
54 percent of Boomers agree that if an adult child cares for a parent, they should receive a greater share of the inheritance; 64 percent of elders agree.
35 percent of Boomers agree that adult children who have caused family conflict or who have treated the family with disrespect should receive a smaller share of inheritance; 34 percent of elders agree.