Intergenerational wealth, not savings, is the key ingredient in retirement security and a primary reason for persistant retirement inequality, says a recent survey by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs.

According to the research, loans and gifts from older relatives at some point in a person’s adult lives tend to presage an inheritance later in life. As a result, Americans who can count on wealth transfers from parents or other relatives tend to be more financially prepared to retire, and to enjoy more flexibility in their retirement decision making.

Americans with an inheritance are far more likely than those without one to feel ready for retirement, 38 percent versus 17 percent.

According to the survey, 21 percent of Americans over age 50 have received loans or gifts valued at $10,000 or more from older relatives or parents. Less than half of this group, which the AP-NORC Center refers to as “older Americans,” will receive an inheritance: Only 44 percent of the respondents have received or expect to receive an inheritance.

The AP-NORC Center estimates that $58.1 trillion will be transferred from 94.6 million estates in the U.S. between 2007 and 2061, but not all people will benefit equally. Older African and Hispanic Americans are less likely to be the beneficiaries of gifts and inheritances, and are less likely to have sufficient nest eggs for retirement.

In a cruel irony, Hispanic and African Americans are more likely than other ethnic and racial groups in the U.S. to provide financial assistance to their parents and in-laws, according to the AP-NORC Center.

Most of the study’s older Americans, 56 percent, argue that it is an adult child’s responsibility to provide financial assistance to an aging parent who needs help. Less than half of these respondents, 46 percent, said that it is a parent’s responsibility to financially help an adult child.

While 30 percent of respondents over 50 were helping an older relative or parent, just 10 percent said that they were providing financial assistance to an adult child.

For the study, the AP-NORC Center surveyed 1,683 Americans aged 50 and older between Feb. 14 and March 13, 2017.