To hang on to boomers’ assets, advisors must court their kids


By most accounts, baby boomers are expected to live a long life, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and others. And with their hard-charging reputation, many are not likely to be content sitting in a rocking chair on their front porch watching the world go by.

“I think this whole wealth transfer debate is much ado about nothing,” said Gabriel Garcia, managing director at Pershing Advisor Solutions. “Baby boomers are planning for a long life, and they have plans for what they want to do with [their money]: traveling the world, philanthropic causes and so on.”

According to the CDC report, baby boomers can also expect to be dealing with a host of chronic health conditions as they age, without the benefit of robust health insurance.

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Consider this: Seventeen percent of people 75 and older suffer from dementia, as do 37 percent of those over 85, and people can suffer with the illness up to 20 years, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. It’s not hard to see how those inheritances will quickly get eroded by health and long-term care before they have a chance to pass down to the next generation.

What’s more, even when there is an inheritance, it’s often dispersed among multiple heirs. A $1 million estate doesn’t amount to a lot for an advisor to manage per client if it’s distributed among several children and grandchildren.

“If you’re hyper-focused on the death watch of boomers and the transfer of wealth, that’s probably a failed strategy,” Garcia said.

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