San Francisco, CA
I know that in my family (immediate and in-laws) there is a desire by the older generation not to be a burden and ideally to leave something for their estate and kids/grand kids, but the reality is that as people age and need more care - all of their savings are being consumed and their children are starting to subsidize (pay for) their care.
This is happening across for all of our society as well - under current Medicare laws, life expectancies and health care costs - many people will take out about 3 times what they contribute to Medicare.
"'Consider an average-wage, two-earner couple together earning $89,000 a year. Upon retiring in 2011, they would have paid $114,000 in Medicare payroll taxes during their careers. But they can expect to receive medical services — from prescriptions to hospital care — worth $355,000, or about three times what they put in."
Life expectancies and how to allocate the wealth of our country between the various generation - specifically the young vs. the old is and will become a bigger debate in the near future and it will be debated in each family, community and across the US (and the world since most developed countries have rapidly aging populations.)
This is the reason we started this company - we hope to help people most efficient use of the resources they have.
**All above answers are provided as general information only. No warranty is made regarding the fitness or accuracy of the information provided in this answer. You should seek advice from a licensed CPA, attorney or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ as to your unique financial situation.