Transfer of Wealth

The phrase “transfer of wealth” will be repeated often in philanthropic circles over the next decade because community builders in every state are trying to harness the successes of yesterday and today for tomorrow’s needs.

“Transfer of wealth” or TOW, refers to the transfer of financial and other assets from one generation to another, and we are upon the greatest transfer of wealth the world has seen.

Worldwide, an estimated $16 trillion will be passed on from retiring generations to their heirs over the next 30 years.*

In the United States, at least $6 trillion will be bequeathed over three decades – and that total only represents those who are considered to be “high net worth” individuals. Add in the wealth transfer from all retirees over the coming decades, and the figure soars to an estimated $59 trillion.**

Where will that wealth go? To taxes, heirs and any other number of destinations. Studies show that when wealth leaves a state, it rarely returns, so for West Virginia, we hope to see at least 5% retained in state.

We realize retiring West Virginians’ heirs may not still live in the Mountain State, so we expect a good portion of the wealth transfer to leave. But with thoughtful estate planning via a strong network of Community Foundations, each West Virginia county could stand to gain millions in future financial resources through Keep 5 Local.



* “Coming Soon: The Biggest Wealth Transfer in History,” January 13, 2015, CNBC.
** “A Golden Age of Philanthropy Still Beckons: National Wealth Transfer and Potential for Philanthropy,” Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, May 28, 2014.