The Greatest Wealth Transfer in History Is Here, With Familiar (Rich) Winners

An intergenerational transfer of wealth is in motion in America — and it will dwarf any of the past.

Of the 73 million baby boomers, the youngest are turning 60. The oldest boomers are nearing 80. Born in midcentury as U.S. birthrates surged in tandem with an enormous leap in prosperity after the Depression and World War II, boomers are now beginning to die in larger numbers, along with Americans over 80.

Most will leave behind thousands of dollars, a home or not much at all. Others are leaving their heirs hundreds of thousands, or millions, or billions of dollars in various assets.

In 1989, total family wealth in the United States was about $38 trillion, adjusted for inflation. By 2022, that wealth had more than tripled, reaching $140 trillion. Of the $84 trillion projected to be passed down from older Americans to millennial and Gen X heirs through 2045, $16 trillion will be transferred within the next decade.

Heirs increasingly don’t need to wait for the passing of elders to…

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This article was written by Talmon Joseph Smith and Karl Russell and originally published on