Over the next 50 years, our nation will experience the largest inter-generational transfer of wealth in history, with $603 billion expected to transfer from one generation to the next within Nebraska. Most of this wealth will go to heirs, some will go to taxes, but some could be preserved as a legacy for the future of our community. Retaining even a small portion of that wealth for philanthropic purposes close to home is a historic opportunity for Columbus and the Platte County area and for people who care deeply about the places they call home.
In Platte County, the estimated 50-year inter-generational transfer of wealth is $7.75 billion. Within just the next 10 years, $897 million is expected to transfer from one generation to the next in this county.
This wealth may be held in residential and agricultural real estate, securities, retirement accounts, business ownership and other assets. Some of the money will likely be paid as taxes to the federal and state government and even more will go to relatives or charities outside of the country. Imagine if we all designated just 5% of those dollars in a will or estate plan to stay here and support our community. That would be $387.5 million working in our region!
For generations, most Nebraskans lived their entire lives close to their birthplace. One family might occupy the same property, even the same home, for multiple generations. Platte County wealth passed from generation to generation but stayed in Platte County. Due to out-migration of our young people – sometimes to other places in Nebraska, sometimes out of the state – many of the next generations no longer live in Platte County.
If only a small portion of this wealth – just 5% – were given back through charitable gifts and endowed in local funds over the next decade, our county would have more than $45 million in permanent “savings accounts” within just 10 years. All of this money could be put to work for community and economic development and to further enhance the quality of life enjoyed today and for generations to come.
*Research from The Nebraska Community Foundation‘s “2011 Transfer of Wealth Study.” The study provides stunning insights into the true abundance Nebraska enjoys and the critical need to act now to preserve one of those important resources.