Are you ready for the great wealth transfer?

Around $60 trillion will be passed down by baby boomers to their beneficiaries between now and 2061, according to projections. Consider these planning strategies for clients who are transferring or receiving wealth.

Between 1946 and 1964, about 72.5 million Americans were born. The generation was dubbed the “baby boomers” due to the spike in births during that time period. Members of that generation are now enjoying retirement or are on the cusp of it. As they age, they will begin to pass their assets to their children and heirs, many of whom are members of the millennial generation.

This unprecedented event has been dubbed “the Great Wealth Transfer,” representing around $60 trillion.

Older millennials are now in their mid- to late-30s, and many of them could be inheriting money or property as a result of the Great Wealth Transfer.

This impacts both the boomers who will be passing down assets, as well as the millennials and beneficiaries that will be receiving them. Is your advisory firm ready to handle this financial planning challenge?

Here are a few tips:

Beneficiaries, start planning now

Beneficiaries need to be prepared to receive this money and may want to consider guidelines so they don’t mishandle it. Beneficiaries can walk away with a little or a lot of money, but it is a mistake to not have a plan in place for the assets. One of the best decisions they can make is to pay off student loans or other debts with the money they receive.

Talk as a family

The first thing to do is to talk as a family, preferably with qualified financial advisors present. These can be uncomfortable conversations, but the last thing you want is for children or heirs to be on different pages when the money is transferred. For the boomers who are passing their money down, a common mistake is believing that any money remaining in their qualified retirement plan (401(k), IRA, etc.) will be passed down according to their will. In fact, all that matters is the beneficiary designations within the plans themselves. That needs to be addresses. Lastly, some people choose to prepay for their funerals. That way, their beneficiaries don’t have to worry about paying for funeral expenses.

Financial advisors need to plan, too

Advisors need to conduct a cash flow analysis to see what type of income the boomers will have in retirement, as well as their daily expenses. If there isn’t enough income to fund those expenses and to leave a little left over, that means adjustments need to be made.

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