More than half of those who expect to inherit a share of the “great wealth transfer” over the next two decades say they aren’t prepared to manage the money, according to a new survey by New York Life.

Only 42% of adults who expect to receive an inheritance feel “very comfortable financially” handling the new wealth that will be passed down to them, the survey found. Women are especially nervous, with 23% of those who expect an inheritance reporting that they feel uneasy about how they will manage the money while only 12% of male respondents said the same.

“Those who are set to receive an inheritance in the next 10 years do not feel entirely confident managing it,” said Suzanne Schmitt, head of financial wellness at New York Life, in a statement.

The survey of 4,437 adults was conducted online over the course of a long weekend in June 2023.

More than $80 trillion in assets is expected to pass to up-and-coming generations over the next two decades.

In its survey, New York Life asked the likely recipients of this wealth what they were worried about. Fifty-eight percent of respondents cited inflation as a primary worry. Of the 42% who have credit card debt, 35% of them said the debt had increased over the last year. Yet overall, credit card debt was listed as a “big risk” by only 26% of respondents. Of greater concern to inheritors were their lack of emergency savings—cited by 29% of people surveyed—and healthcare costs, listed by 27% of respondents.

“Inflation and higher interest rates continue to make credit card debt a challenge, compounded by unexpected expenses and a lack of emergency savings,” said Schmitt.

People tend to be focused on “the basics,” she continued—paying down debt, building emergency savings and contributing to retirement savings.

The wealth transfer is already underway, with 17% of those who answered the poll saying they had received an inheritance over the past 10 years and 15% saying they anticipated one over the next 10 years. Of those who expected to inherit assets in the next decade, 71% said the wealth would come from their parents or guardians (as opposed to spouses or other family members), 58% expected it to be cash, and 43% said it would be a house or other real property. The average expected value of these bequests came to $738,724.23.

As for how they plan to use their inheritances, 37% said they want to pay off debts, 35% said the money would supplement their retirement savings, and just 26% put “passing it down” to their own heirs as their intention.

Schmitt said that when parents pass on, it can be difficult for children to navigate family dynamics and people’s competing priorities, while “grieving can make it even harder to know where to start or where to get reliable and objective advice.” Financial professionals can help here, she said, by counseling clients on the best ways to manage their resources for goals such as “paying down debt, planning for education expenses, bolstering savings and setting themselves up for a more secure retirement.”

Yet only 29% of baby boomers in the survey said they preferred the guidance of a financial professional. The number was even lower among younger respondents. Among all the respondents, 44% said that when it comes to retirement planning, they are “doing it alone.”

Asked about how they plan to support themselves in retirement, 75% acknowledged needing additional help in retirement, with 60% saying they will rely on Social Security, 47% citing personal savings, and a mere 33% saying they will rely on an employer-provided pension. In all, 36% of those surveyed reported feeling less prepared for retirement than their parents had been.

“The data confirm what we know pre-retirees are experiencing,” said Schmitt. “As traditional retirement savings and income vehicles come under pressure or become unavailable, people are feeling anxious and many also feel unprepared.”

This is particularly true among respondents who identified as LGBTQ+. Thirty-eight percent of them said they feel anxious about their finances overall, while only 24% of others felt that way. Perhaps that’s because 39% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents reported having retirement savings, as opposed to just 29% of their LGBTQ+ counterparts.