It's a thought many of us have had. When Mom and Dad finally pass away, as everyone does, the money we inherit will come in pretty handy.

Don't count on it, say the experts. What you get, if anything, will probably be a lot less than you think. A study by AARP's Public Policy Institute shows that the safest bet you can make is to consider yourself on your own financially and manage your money accordingly.

Retired parents are living longer and spending more. At age 65, they can reasonably expect to live another 20 years. And many intend to treat themselves to such luxuries as travel, new cars, and gourmet dining.

As people age, they will pay more for health care. Medicare doesn't cover dental expenses, and any long-term care they need can quickly gobble up assets.

Add to that the fact that many are still feeling the effects of the stock market slump and have less money to pass on. They aren't helped in rebuilding by the low interest rates being paid on savings.

Personal finance advisors say if you want to make your future secure, you need to do three things: save, save, and save.