Over the next twenty years, there will be a wealth transfer that exceeds $30 trillion as the Baby Boomer generation passes the remainder of their wealth to the Millennials and subsequent generations. The Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are considered the wealthiest generation, currently controlling 70% of all the disposable income in the United States. Its imperative families develop a plan to transfer assets since the transfer of wealth is inevitable. For most families, the transferring wealth was acquired during this lifetime and not inherited from the previous generation.
When starting to plan for wealth transfer pre-retirees should prepare for their retirement first, healthcare costs second, and the remaining transferring assets last. Although some individuals choose not to involve their family members that will become the beneficiaries of their assets, including qualified tax and legal professionals are important. But don’t write off including your heirs in all aspects of wealth transfer planning if you’d like more than just one generation to benefit.
Preparing your heirs to take over your estate eventually passing their remaining assets on to their beneficiaries is equally important. Heirs that are unprepared in managing money, investments or seeking financial guidance from qualified professionals seldom have enough inheritance left over for their heirs. Some families choose to ‘train’ heirs by teaching how to wisely invest so they can give some away through philanthropy. Without financial education, frequent investment decision making and a purpose to preserve the inherited wealth, many estate transfers rarely survive. The complexities of wealth preservation are not taught in school or other institutions and can only demonstrate through modeling, professional guidance, and the generation’s intention to pass their wealth forward.
If the generation set to inherit from the Baby Boomers does a good job preserving what they inherit, it’s possible it could easily provide financial benefits to others for the next thirty to forty years. And that’s worth planning.
As financial advisors, we spend a lot of time preparing for building wealth, but not passing it on to subsequent generations. If you would like guidance on The Great Wealth Transfer and my working with your beneficiaries, I welcome a meeting with all of you.