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Industry Spotlight > Women in Wealth

$41 trillion wealth transfer not enough

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The looming $41 trillion wealth transfer is often cited as a windfall for boomers and heirs. Not so, writes Kathleen Connell of ABC News.

Wake up, baby boomers. Despite frequent media references to a $41 trillion generational wealth transfer in the United States from 1998 to 2052, the vast majority of Americans should not expect to get rich from an inheritance. For most baby boomers, an inheritance will not be part of their future. According to a 2006 AARP study, 19 percent of boomers ages 44 to 62 had already received an inheritance with only 15 percent still expecting one.

Wishful thinking regarding inheritances also extends to the amount of money that will be received. The median inheritance reported by AARP is $49,000, barely enough to pay for one year at a private college. Only 2 percent of baby boomers who got an inheritance received more than $100,000, according to Tiburon Strategic Advisors, a financial-services consulting firm in Tiburon, Calif.

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