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County residents to transfer $51.2 billion in 10 years

Mark Parker



A recently completed wealth transfer study states that if people left 5% of their estates to nonprofits it could generate $4.4 billion in grants in one year. Photo: Towfiqu Barbhuiya, Unsplash.

The U.S. is on the cusp of what experts call the “greatest generational wealth transfer in history,” with CNBC reporting that baby boomers will leave their children $68 trillion.

Mark Mirsberger, CEO of Dana Investment Advisors, told the media outlet that baby boomers “accumulated a greater percentage of wealth than any other generation has.” The staggering statistics extend to Florida, now the nation’s third-most populated state and still known as a haven for retirees and older residents.

In addition, Ashely Dietz, CEO of the Florida Philanthropic Network (FPN), noted that many people only live in the state for six months and one day. That unique arrangement is due to Florida’s lax tax laws or people escaping harsh winters.

Tampa-based FPN commissioned a recently completed wealth transfer study focusing on Florida and its counties, which the nonprofit has yet to release publicly. Dietz told the Catalyst that the state currently holds $7.3 trillion in value, and her organization hopes to ensure most of that stays in the state and local communities.

“If they don’t keep the money here or invest here, we understand that sometimes these big pots of money can be taxed and go back to the government,” said Dietz. “I just think that we want to give donors and high net worth individuals and families the opportunity to kind of manage their own destiny …”

A study graphic showing 10-year transfer of wealth statistics by region. Screengrab.

The 2022 Transfer of Wealth (TOW) study was conducted by Locus Impact Investing, a nonprofit that helps foundations deploy investments locally. It reported that Pinellas County’s net worth in 2020 was $402.2 billion.

The study states that on average, each Pinellas household will transfer $116,000 in the next decade, or $51.2 billion. That number jumps to $957,000 per household and a $420.5 billion transfer in 50 years.

“That’s just the money we know is transferring,” said Dietz. “From high net worth families and other families that have been successful, that are transferring their dollars to their kids or to their next of kin or what have you. That’s not earmarked for philanthropy or nonprofits, either.”

Wealth transfers happen when people die and leave their estates to the next generation. The study states that less than half the population has a will, and only 6% of those leave a charitable bequest.

Dietz said Locus Impact has conducted similar studies for nonprofit networks across the country and called TOW research an area of expertise for the organization. FPN and 14 other foundations funded the work, said Dietz, with Community Foundation Tampa Bay joining FPN as its primary sponsor.

She noted that the Foundation for a Healthy St. Pete and the Helios Education Foundation are two other members supporting FPN’s efforts in Pinellas.

Dietz said her network’s members received the study’s findings, and she has led presentations on the topic, but FPN will not publish the actual report until mid-January. Dietz added that the statistics “are really conservative estimates, too.”

Ashley Heath Dietz, President and CEO of Florida Philanthropic Network. Photo provided.

The study breaks down 10 and 50-year transfer of wealth estimates according to eight regions. The Central West region encompasses Tampa Bay, and Locus Impact projects its residents will hand over $176.3 billion in the next decade.

That is good for second-most in the state, behind the Miami metro area’s Southeast region. The study states that if people left 5% of their estate to nonprofits, it would generate $4.4 billion in one year.

Dietz called the information extremely valuable to show donors how critical estate planning is, and that giving a small percentage of accumulated wealth to local nonprofits can create a “massive” and long-term impact. Dietz also believes that people generally want to leave a legacy of support.

“That money then stays within your community to help enrich and provide support to those nonprofit organizations,” said Dietz. “To continue the work that they’re doing to make our community a better place.”

The study also notes that five cents of every endowed dollar invested locally could create $31 billion for housing, small businesses and community facilities.

Dietz recently presented the study’s findings to the Florida Chamber of Commerce at its annual meeting. She relayed that the organization’s goal is to make the state’s economy the world’s 10th-largest by 2030.

It is currently 15th and recently overtook the countries of Indonesia and Mexico.

“I’m pretty sure we want to keep that $11.3 trillion that’s going to transfer in the next 50 years here, you know,” added Dietz. “So, the for-profit sector is very interested in this information.”


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    January 4, 2023at7:09 pm

    Being in the financial services myself, we’ve been talking about this supposed historic wealth transfer for over 20 years. Sorry – these folks need those dollars more now than ever to pay for health care and other services since they are living longer. Couple that with all the changes in tax and estate planning laws actually means FEWER dollars that will transfer. Advisors can pretty much kiss any hope of working with the heirs goodbye since they are all spendthrifts and haven’t saved adequately for their own retirement.

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