'Transfer of wealth' won't save housing

Dire straits forces consumers to make tough choices

There are those who believe that housing markets will soon recover and that the reported "transfer of wealth" from more frugal (and thus more affluent) parents will pull the baby boomers — and their children – through all financial difficulty.

It most likely will not be enough. Foreclosures continue to rise; more lurk just under the surface; and the transfer of wealth will probably help only the wealthy. In addition, people are living longer (including parents) and assets will be stretched further into their lifetime before being left to the kids. And, the folks’ house probably isn’t worth what it used to be.