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Millennials Poised to Inherit $90 Trillion, Set to Become Wealthiest Generation Ever

The distribution of this inheritance is akin to a lottery of birth with those born into affluent families standing to benefit the most.
Cover Image Source: Unsplash | Photo by Priscilla Du Preez
Cover Image Source: Unsplash | Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

As millennials struggle for homeownership and financial stability, hope arises from an anticipated $90 trillion wealth transfer over two decades, as per Knight Frank's Wealth Report. This windfall from the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers could position millennials as the wealthiest generation ever. However, distribution disparities may exacerbate existing wealth gaps. While this inheritance presents an opportunity for financial security and prosperity, it requires proactive measures to ensure equitable distribution.

Image Source: Pexels/Keira Burton
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Keira Burton

The transfer of wealth from one generation to the next is nothing new. However, what sets this impending transfer apart is its unprecedented scale. It's a seismic shift that will redefine the landscape of wealth distribution and utilization. Liam Bailey, the global head of research at Knight Frank, aptly describes it as a "transformational moment that will reshape the economic fortunes of millennials fortunate enough to be on its receiving end."

But herein lies the crux of the matter, the distribution of this inheritance is akin to a lottery of birth. Those born into affluent families stand to benefit the most, while others may find themselves on the periphery of this monumental wealth transfer. Consequently, this could further entrench socioeconomic disparities, perpetuating a cycle of privilege and disadvantage.

Ask your landlord for payout options and communicate in advance. Image Source: Pexels|Photo by Cottonbro Studio
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Cottonbro Studio

Moreover, the traditional avenues of wealth, such as property and real estate, are being reevaluated by affluent young people. The era of skyrocketing property values and guaranteed returns may be waning, replaced by a more diversified approach to wealth creation.

Mike Pickett, director of Cazenove Capital, says, "The low-interest rate environment and impressive growth in house prices over the past 15 years is unlikely to be repeated in the next 15. There's evidence that the following generation, Gen Z, may be more comfortable renting a home, leasing a vehicle, and living a subscription lifestyle than prior generations."

Pexels | Photo by Kerde Severin
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Kerde Severin

Indeed, wealth creation is expanding, offering many opportunities for those with the foresight and ambition to seize them. "I think the diversity of opportunity to create wealth has also grown — for example, there are YouTubers who are worth tens of millions. First-generation wealth creation is on the rise, as is the array of entrepreneurial routes to create it," Pickett stated.

Despite economic uncertainties, the ranks of ultra-high-net-worth individuals continue to swell, signaling a robust growth trajectory. North America, in particular, has witnessed a significant uptick in wealth creation, fueled by a buoyant economy and robust equity markets.

Yet, this prosperity is not uniform across regions. While North America and regions like the Middle East and Africa experience growth in wealth creation, Latin America grapples with a decline in the population of ultra-wealthy individuals. 

Cover Image Source: Barcelona | Spain | Pexels | Aleksandar Pasaric
 Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric

Looking ahead, the trajectory of wealth creation paints a picture of cautious optimism. While the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals is projected to increase, the pace of growth is expected to moderate compared to previous years. However, Asia emerges as a focal point for future wealth creation, with countries like India and China poised to drive substantial growth in the ranks of the super-wealthy.