Charitable giving by retirees will surge between now and 2035, and this will change the face of philanthropy, according to new data from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave.
The wide-ranging report released Tuesday says that as boomers retire over the next two decades, they will transform how people give during a stage of life already characterized by great generosity.
Sixty-five percent of retirees in the study said retirement was the best time to give back.
Moreover, boomers said they were more strategic than their parents, more hands-on and more demanding about how their financial contributions and volunteer time are used. Social impact investing, in particular, appeals to these donors.
Assuming giving rates among retirees remain at the level they are today, the report says, “we believe charitable financial giving from retirees over the next two decades will swell to an estimated $6.6 trillion.”
Add to that a projected 58 billion hours of volunteer time over the next two decades valued at some $1.4 trillion worth of services nationwide, assuming industry standard measures of the value of volunteer time.
“In total, we believe the value of giving by retirees, including both charitable giving and the value of volunteer hours, will create an estimated $8 trillion Longevity Bonus cumulatively over the next two decades.”
Three factors are converging to account for retirees’ surge in charitable giving, according to the report: the huge boomer generation transitioning to retirement, increasing longevity and high rates of cash donations and volunteerism among retirees, especially women.
Online quantitative research for the study was completed in July 2015 among a total of 3,694 adult respondents age 25 and older, including 762 silent generation respondents, 2,140 boomers, 373 Generation Xers and 419 millennials.