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Published: Apr 15, 2024 6 min read
Hands passing a stack of cash
Money; Getty Images

The U.S. is currently undergoing what financial experts call "the great wealth transfer," in which a colossal amount of assets is changing hands — and setting off a major chain reaction.

According to a report from Cerulli Associates, over $84 trillion (with a T) will switch ownership through 2045. Though nearly $12 trillion of that will go to charity, the rest will be transferred directly to heirs.

“Coming out of the financial crisis, we've seen an immense amount of wealth be created, and U.S. households are wealthier than ever,” says Chayce Horton, a senior analyst at Cerulli. “There's tens of trillions of dollars floating around, and a majority of that is controlled by households that are over 65 years old.”

But that’s about to change. As older generations die, they're passing along that money to Gen X, millennial and Gen Z households — which tend to have different perspectives on wealth than many baby boomers do. Regardless of how old you are, that means it's never too early to prepare.

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