Women control more private wealth than ever before. According to the Boston Consulting Group, in 2010, women controlled approximately $34 Trillion of the private wealth. By 2020, we are expected to control $72 Trillion of the private wealth, which represents a full 1/3 of all private wealth.
How is wealth shifting to women?
Women are increasingly business owners, entrepreneurs, primary or sole breadwinners, and are likely be the surviving matriarchs of our families:
- There are approximately 10.6 Million women-owned businesses in the United States – and women are responsible for 70% of all new business startups in the United States.
- In families that have a husband and wife, 40% of wives now make more than their husbands.
- Two out of three women over 75 are single – many due to the death of spouse, as women frequently outlive their husbands.
The Great Wealth Transfer is coming
In the next 25 years, it is anticipated that 45 Million families in the U.S. will transfer 68 Trillion from the Baby Boomer generation to the next generations. As a result of women living longer, most of the private wealth that changes hands in the coming decades is likely to go to women.
Yet, the wealth management industry has historically focused on male clients. Perhaps that is why many women do not engage in financial planning or wealth management. Interestingly, however, of women who increased their involvement in their financial affairs, 90% reported an increase in their quality of life. It is empowering to take control over your finances. Seek out one who is a good fit for you.
Estate planning lawyers have similarly catered to males. Not surprisingly, studies show that 70% of widows change their estate planning attorney after the death of their husband. I see this frequently in my estate planning practice with many widows choosing to move their business to my firm. Often because they want to work with a woman-owned firm. Just as frequently, it is because we treat them with dignity and do not assume they lack sophistication simply because they are women.
The shift in wealth is in process. From one generation to the next. And women stand to benefit greatly over the next few decades. For women, having a plan to manage our wealth and to protect our legacy is critically important. Part of protecting our legacy is ensuring that our money supports the people we love and the causes we are passionate about. Once you have hired that wealth management or financial planning professional, you can work with them to see how best to grow and preserve wealth for your children and how to best support the charities that align with your values. Then turn to your estate planning lawyer to help you make sure that your wealth transfers seamlessly to the next generation and that the charities you currently support are not forgotten.
Blog Post: Leveling the Playing Field
by: Boston Consulting Group
Rebecca Mason Law Estate Planning: