Women are the predominant benefactor in the great wealth transfer—what comes next?

Wealth transfer

Women need to feel empowered to make choices with their money and be open to discussions around wealth building, investing and planning.


This article is part of an ongoing initiative from RBC Wealth Management to highlight women-led insights from across the bank. The expertise highlighted covers a variety of topics and themes which have also been featured in the Financial Post—Canada’s source for news and analysis in today’s competitive business environment.

By J Lynne Stewart, investment advisor
RBC Dominion Securities, Inc.

Previous generations, quite often, held the same job and worked for the same company their entire career. They had regular deductions taken off their pay, and this became their defined-benefit pension plan for life and a secure retirement. Little autonomy or acumen was required around wealth preservation or estate planning for the majority of people.

We’re quite likely the first generation that’s had to be individually focused on and accountable for how we’re saving and investing for retirement. “All the rules have changed in the last couple decades and we’ve failed to let people know about it,” Dr. Brad Klontz, certified financial planner and financial psychologist, said in the documentary $avvy.

As a community of investors, women in particular need to gather information, be part of a safe space to talk about building a secure future, reach out to experts who can talk to us in a way we understand and connect with trusted and relatable advisors to help us get personal about the best approach for our lives and goals.

It’s amazing to look back over the past several years, surrounded by amazing, smart women focused on health and happiness, and not often did my community and I have a strategic or personal discussion about our future in terms of financial security. As a group of predominantly midlife females, we either assumed everyone was going to be OK, that it wasn’t for us to discuss or that someone else was taking care of it.

Can you imagine the impact we would have as women if we began to share the choices we’re making and the goals we’re setting to build a more secure future?

We’re in the midst of the greatest wealth transfer in history and women are the predominant benefactor. It’s imperative that women be informed and educated, and get clear on how our wealth will fund our future. How successful will our families and communities be when we all step into wealth building and investing with accountability? How successful will we be when we reach for the clarity and transparency that allows us to take a more active role in understanding our finances and our future?

As women, we need to feel empowered to make choices every day with our money and be open to discussions around wealth building, investing and planning. So often we have a negative reaction to the concepts of budgeting, investing and planning.

The word budget feels like an exercise that may encroach on our indulgences in life, so we often choose not to look too closely. Investing can seem intimidating because there are many technical and unfamiliar concepts, and we don’t often feel invited into the conversation. Planning creates a fear that we will not like the news of how we’re positioned, so we often bury our heads in the sand when these topics come up.

But just as we make choices for our health every day, it’s also time to make informed choices for our wealth. Believing you have the right, the obligation and the capacity to learn about investing and wealth planning can go a long way to building your knowledge.

It’s motivating when we see how following through on our plans improves our stability and financial security and, ultimately, improves our ability to make positive choices to reach our goal of building a secure future for ourselves, our families and our community.

Step into the arena of wealth building, live in alignment and become part of an empowered community of women.

This article was originally published in the Financial Post.

RBC Wealth Management is a business segment of Royal Bank of Canada. Please click the “Legal” link at the bottom of this page for further information on the entities that are member companies of RBC Wealth Management. The content in this publication is provided for general information only and is not intended to provide any advice or endorse/recommend the content contained in the publication.

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