There’s a $90 Trillion Generational Wealth Transfer Coming

By: Anneken Tappe · March 04, 2024 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Millennials have seen plenty of financial challenges in their lives. Between the dot-com bubble, the global financial crisis, the great recession, and the pandemic, not to mention rising costs of everything from education to eggs, it has been hard for this generation to build wealth.

But there is good, albeit somewhat morbid, news: In the U.S., millennials are set to inherit as much as $90 trillion in assets over the next two decades, according to real estate firm Knight Frank , giving them the potential to become the richest generation in history.

Looming Heirlooms

Older generations are expected to hand down a huge amount of wealth to their millennial children in the form of property, stock portfolios, cash, and businesses.

This massive potential transfer of wealth could also lead to a reallocation of dollars as younger people put their money where their mouths are. For example, millennials might put their assets into investments that fight climate change. Roughly 4 in 5 millennials say that they are interested in cutting their carbon emissions, significantly more than baby boomers, per Knight Frank.

Even so, inherited wealth comes with one big caveat. It relies on generational wealth that has already been created. This means that redistribution through inheritance won’t be felt across the socioeconomic spectrum. In other words, this wealth transfer will be largely concentrated among already affluent families, making inequality more entrenched.

Homeownership is one of the bedrocks of creating generational wealth, but the current housing market is making it tricky for first-time buyers to get a foot in the door — literally. Learn more about generational wealth and how to build it here.

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