Is Wealth Transfer a Myth?
Mass media will always jump on stories that seek to challenge and debunk commonly accepted narratives. CNBC is running a story suggesting that the huge intergenerational wealth, estimated at $30 trillion, is a myth, because the actual transfers will be “small, fragmented and drained”. Why? Because baby boomers will spend on themselves as they age (what’s known as SKIing – Spending your Kids’ Inheritance), and because they will choose to gift their wealth to charitable causes.
This is where some nuance is needed, particularly in light of the US Fed report cited above. We can split the boomer wealth into two categories: “mid-range”, where big spending by parents can actually have an impact, and “high-end”, where even that is a drop in the ocean. While certainly the mid-range will be affected by SKIing, the bulk of the wealth by value will certainly be transmitted.
Consider This: Don’t get jumpy when you read sensationalist stories like this one. Every family is different, and therefore their approach to transmitting family wealth should be uniquely considered.
Here is more on reading on wealth transition.