Although Baby Boomers may think a large inheritance will boost their retirement savings - with an estimated $45 trillion to be bequeathed over the next five years - they may be sorely disappointed, The Wall Street Journal reports.

About 64% of those who are, indeed, inheriting large sums of $100,000 or more are already well off, according to AARP. In fact, the average inheritance Baby Boomers have received to date is a mere $48,000.

"It's fair to say that expectation is greater than reality," said Paul G. Schervish, director of Boston College's Center on Wealth and Philanthropy.

Some of the factors Boomers overlook are estate taxes and their parents' decision to leave money to charity. As well, people are living longer and incurring huge health-care and nursing home costs. Today, a 65-year-old woman can expect to live until age 81, and a 65-year-old man can expect to live until age 84 - with the longevity of younger Baby Boomers expected to increase even more in coming years.

In addition, many older Americans are now putting their retirement money into annuities, thereby wiping out any estate to be passed along. In the 1990s, 50% of the assets of those age 65 and older were put into annuities, versus 20% in the 1960s. And the popularity of reverse mortgages and long-term care insurance has been increasing.

Timothy Wyman a tax attorney in CFP in Southfield, Mich., tells his clients who are expecting an inheritance to discount it by 50%.

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