When Boomers Retire, Their Wealth Will Go to the Young and Financially Inexperienced. Is That You?

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by Daniel Scott Johnson

We are currently amid one of the largest transfers of generational wealth. Not surprisingly, the Baby Boomers, once the biggest cohort with an estimated 73 million members, holds the most money. Their holdings are estimated to total a combined $68 trillion, according to CNBC. Now, with thousands of Boomers reaching retirement age daily, much of that largess is already being passed along to their children, the Millennials.  

And, boy, do these young people need it. According to another recent CNBC article, the Boomer Generation saw their average net worth grow from $747,600 in 1998 to $1.21 million in 2019. At the same time, Millennials witnessed their average personal net worth actually fall from $103,400 to just north of $100,000 in 2019. 

What does this mean for you? 

If you are a millennial, the Boomers’ average personal wealth is a whopping 12 times more than you. Why such disparity? There are several reasons. The first is much of the Boomers’ generational wealth comes from real estate appreciation. When they came of age in the early to mid 1980s, the average home cost below $75,000. Today that number is close to $350,000. The second reason? Student debt. In 1975, the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from a four-year public college or university was $2,168. Today, it costs $43,760.00. (Multiply this by about 4 to attend a private college or university.) 

For the Boomer generation, student debt was virtually nonexistent. Today, total student debt in the U.S. totals more than $1.745 trillion, with the average college graduate paying off $37,787 in debt. Millennials (maybe you!) carry much of the burden, harming one’s ability to acquire personal wealth.

The third reason is that most Millennials came of age during The Great Recession, the deepest, longest financial crisis since the 1930s. During this time, jobs were hard to get. Wages stalled, advancement was slow and hard. Because of wealth stagnation suffered by the Millennials, today they hold just 3 percent of the nation’s wealth, compared to about 57 percent for their parents, according to the Washington Post.

So how are the Boomers transferring their enormous “fortunes” to young people such as you? There are several ways:

  • Inheritance. To paraphrase an old advertising line, some of today’s Millennials are making money the old-fashioned way: They’re inheriting it. As they enter their senior years, Boomers are passing away. Their accumulated wealth is flowing directly to heirs through wills and trusts.
  • Gifts. The IRS allows people to gift anyone up to $17,000 a year tax-free So, each parent in a Boomer couple can gift their Millennial child up to $17,000, or a total of $34,000 per year. They could also gift their child’s spouse the same $34,000, allowing the Millennial couple to receive up to $64,000 tax-free from their parents. Many affluent Boomers are taking advantage of this IRS rule to transfer money to their kids while they are still alive and thus actually see their offspring enjoy the windfall.
  • Trusts. There are various types of trusts older parents can use to transfer wealth to their grown kids, including Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts (IDGTs), Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs), and others. Each has its own benefits and disadvantages, their usefulness depending on each participant’s particular situation.


As noted above, most Millennials have little to no experience dealing with large sums of money, especially when it arrives all at once (such as in the event of an inheritance). That’s where I come in. I established Windfall Advisors specifically to help young people like you who need help managing sudden wealth. Together we can ensure you not only hold onto your new fortune, but also grow it steadily over time.

Now, a little about me. For two decades, I have made it my life’s mission to provide the most professional, productive, and compassionate wealth management and financial planning services possible, first as an assets management specialist with Wells Fargo Advisors, then a wealth management advisor for Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, and finally striking out on my own in 2020.

Highly protective of my clients’ interests, I am proud to carry a perfect regulatory record with zero client complaints. I hold FINRA’s (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Securities Licenses Series 7 General Securities Representative, Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law and obtained the CRPC designation (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) from the College of Financial Planning in 2013. 

In fact, I am so confident in my ability to help you as your windfall advisor that I am offering a complimentary 4-month trial. It’s my belief that you will see the value of my services based on this exploratory arrangement. Or, to put it simply, you needn’t trust my words, but you can trust in the results. 

If you’re a Millennial who stands to benefit from this historic generational wealth transfer, please contact me today. Together we can help you close the generation wealth gap and hopefully have a sizeable fortune you can leave to your kids when you retire!

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