Wealth Transfer

Insights into giving and inheriting wealth across generations

Within a generation, US$4 trillion is expected to be passed down to inheritors in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. In the UK, our average respondent has assets of £5.1 million, but may not be ready to transfer it. We found that there is a general lack of preparedness and wealth rarely endures long enough to leave a lasting legacy.

Personal journeys of learning

At what age do you think people should start learning about wealth and money?

28is the average age to start.

But respondents who began before 18 are more confident in their knowledge of wealth and money.

Infographic Ages
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How do people learn about wealth and money? You may be surprised. We surveyed 1,054 Canadians with average investable assets of $3.8 million. Our research reveals that, while financial lessons typically begin with family, most people learn about money matters on their own.

Key findings:

  • Financial guidance begins later than you might expect, at age 26
  • 57% of respondents seek out knowledgeable individuals to help improve their financial literacy
  • Financial education is guided by family, but it’s not the most effective method

“It’s important to get comfortable with the idea of inheriting and to understand where the inheritance comes from. In my situation, it was handed down through the sale of a family business. I’m a steward of that wealth, rather than the owner.”

– Ian, a fifth-generation heir

“We found that there is a remarkable gap between our intentions and our actions.”

– Julian Washington, Head of Client Insight & Intermediary Relationships, RBC Wealth Management UK

Most people want to preserve and grow their wealth so that future generations can build lasting legacies. Our research explores their intentions and actions when it comes to transferring wealth.

We surveyed 3,105 people in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States with an average net worth of US$4.5 million, and supplemented the data with one-on-one interviews. These individuals included men and women, professionals and entrepreneurs, business owners and retirees, givers and inheritors.

We discovered that people are concerned that their heirs will not have the financial acumen to preserve and grow family wealth. Our research underscores the critical importance of advance preparation and effective knowledge transfer in preserving family wealth.

Let’s connect

We want to talk about your financial future.

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