The mysterious disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle have captivated imaginations since the days of Christopher Columbus. Recent trends point to a Bermuda Triangle-esque dynamic in financial services, with clients and assets vanishing as wealth transfers to the next generation.
Over the next 45 years, $59 trillion will pass from baby boomers to the next generation according to “Wealth Transfer and Potential for Philanthropy” from the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. Relatively few boomers, however, have taken steps to ensure wealth doesn’t vaporize after transfer. The lack of planning and preparation is apparent in shockingly high failure rates. According to Williams Group Wealth Consultancy, 70 percent of families lose their wealth by the second generation, and 90 percent by the third. In addition, recent studies show over half of widows and two-thirds of heirs fire their loved one’s financial advisor after receiving an inheritance.
Could this be a root source of this epidemic?
The Rise of a New Planning and Advisory Discipline
In a comprehensive study of wealth transfer needs and services commissioned by The MassMutual Trust Company, GDC Research describes the changing needs of mature, affluent clients and the increase in concern over successfully preserving and transferring wealth. It offers insights on how advisors can better meet wealth transfer needs while preparing the next generation to steward inherited wealth.
The findings of this research study led to the development of strategies and tangible steps to help advisors prevent client relationships and assets from slipping out of reach.
Joe Rokowski is President and CEO of The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB, a federal savings bank and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.