Embracing Change and Leaving a Legacy: The Great Wealth Transfer

Great Wealth Transfer

You have no doubt heard the axiom about life’s certainties, with birth, death and taxes on the short list. The greatest wealth transfer in history is now underway and where those trillions of dollars could end up might well be taxes, heirs and charity. By 2045, a staggering $84 trillion will change hands – $72.6 trillion to heirs and the remaining $11.9 trillion to charities

In an insightful interview with CNBC, Susan Hirshman, a director of wealth management with Schwab Wealth Advisory, shared some words of wisdom. “It’s how you frame the conversation,” she said. “It’s not about death, but really about putting your family in the best possible emotional, financial and structural position they can be.” This approach transforms the Great Wealth Transfer into a time for openness, exploring what truly matters, and finding lasting ways to be generous and giving. 

However, even with such opportunities for meaningful legacy planning, hesitation persists. Various sources confirm that more than 2/3 of American adults lack a valid will, and most of these individuals have never even created an estate plan or made plans for their legacy. This reluctance to engage in conversations about estate planning limits the potential impact of one’s final wishes and philanthropic aspirations.

Planned charitable giving emerges as a remarkably effective way of using one’s estate to make a lasting impact while minimizing what goes to the government. Beyond cash, there are diverse assets that can contribute to a legacy. These include stocks, real estate, and valuable personal possessions such as rare collectibles, jewelry, and high-value vehicles. Such assets often hold significant sentimental value and can play key roles in planned giving. It’s a crucial time for this consideration, as Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964, are mostly at or past the traditional retirement age. In fact, it’s estimated that about four million Boomers will be turning 65 this year – approximately 11,000 each day. 

The Baby Boomer generation has been at the forefront of some of the most monumental societal changes of the last century. In the dynamic landscape of 2024, a year marked by an improving economic outlook, a U.S. presidential election, and continuing global challenges, the enduring value of planned giving is clear. This context underscores the importance of planned giving, not just as a financial strategy, but as a means to continue contributing to the positive momentum of our world. It ensures that Baby Boomers’ influence and capacity to effect positive change endures. 

Navigating the complexities of the current environment involves considering a variety of gift vehicles to ensure your philanthropic goals are met without adversely affecting your current or future finances. Explore the IEEE Foundation ‘Ways to Give’ webpages to discover a range of options for meaningful and impactful giving.          

As we navigate the changes of 2024, it’s vital not only to embrace these shifts but to leverage them. The Great Wealth Transfer is more than just a transfer of dollars; it represents an opportunity for enduring impact. Consider planned giving as a means to shape a legacy that aligns with your values and creates positive change for generations to come.

Interested in exploring how IEEE can play a role in your estate plan, contact Danny DeLiberato, Development Officer, to hold a private and confidential discussion so we may answer any questions you may have about your plans. Danny can be reached by phone at +1 732.562.5446 or e-mail at

This article is intended to provide general gift planning information. Our organization is not qualified to provide specific legal, tax or investment advice, and this publication should not be looked to or relied upon as a source for such advice. Consult with your own legal and financial advisors before making any gift.     

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