Tag Archives: baby boomers

Is Boomer Indulgence A Threat to Planned Giving?

From Flickr courtesy of thepeachmartini
The Los Angeles Times had a piece in September that wasn’t too flattering to baby boomers. It claimed many of them plan to spend all their money on themselves before death, cutting out their children–who the profligates feel they’ve already done enough for–in favor of travel, fine dining and other treats.

It bothered me that in all the talk about end-of-life planning there wasn’t a single mention of charitable giving. I went to the U.S. Trust 2011 survey of high net worth americans, cited in the article. The situation isn’t as grim as the paper led me to believe. I took away these points from the survey:

  • More than half the respondents (56%) have discussed philanthropy strategy with their financial advisor (slide 29). I’d like to see that number higher, but it’s not bad.
  • 80 percent either did not change or increased their charitable giving in response to the recession (slide 30). It’s theoretically possible that the 63 percent who did not change were giving zero, but that’s not likely.
  • 55 percent plan to volunteer more actively upon retirement (slide 34).

Clearly, there are boomers who will spend all their money and achieve the day-of-death zero banking balance that one woman in the article aspires to. And they’re entitled.

I’m gratified to know those folks don’t represent all the baby boomers, and that among the high and ultra-high net worth population, many intend to include nonprofits in their plans.