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Financial Planning

Tips For Working With Clients Of Any Generation

Steve Sweeney

It’s been called the “Great Wealth Transfer.” Over the next 25 years, Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) will transfer more than $68 trillion dollars to their heirs.1 Most of this wealth will be inherited by Gen X (born 1965-1978) and Millennials (born 1979-2000). Financial professionals keen on growing and protecting their business must be prepared to address the unique intergenerational planning needs of their clients and their clients’ heirs.


88% of Millennials are saving for retirement2

Millennials are the fastest-growing segment of the workforce and tend to be confident, ambitious, and achievement-oriented. They have high expectations of themselves, their employers, and the world around them. They are engaged with technology more than any generation before them.

Sixty percent are open to new job opportunities, and 36% have indicated they will look for a new job in the next 12 months if the job market improves.It is estimated that Millennials will continue to make up the largest segment of homebuyers in the future: 45% in 2019.4

Consider these tips to work more closely with Millennials:

  • Leverage technology to keep your clients informed and enhance communication.
  • Develop a high level of proficiency with transferring retirement accounts and IRAs.
  • Emphasize the importance of achieving their goals using the fundamentals. By focusing on issues like investment diversification, emergency funds, and budgeting, you can help them stay confident they are on the right track.


Generation X

Since 2010, the median new worth of Gen X households has risen 115%4

While Gen X was hit hardest by the financial crisis, they have also benefited most from the recovery. Common characteristics of Gen Xers include independence, and a knack for adaptability and resourcefulness.5 They are expected to surpass Baby Boomers in terms of percentage of the workforce in the next decade.6

Over the next quarter century, nearly 60% of the wealth transferring from Baby Boomers will end up in Gen X households.Boomer to Gen X Individual Retirement Accounts alone will make up nearly $9 trillion of the Great Wealth Transfer during the same time period.

Consider these tips to work more closely with Generation X clients:

  • Be sure to acknowledge your Gen X clients as their own segment with their own unique characteristics, needs, and objectives.
  • Concentrate on solutions as opposed to products and features.
  • Avoid costly mistakes associated with inherited retirement accounts.
  • Help them understand the implications of issues like planning for healthcare and saving for college while they still have plenty of time to prepare.


Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers are set to pass $68 trillion on to their children over the next 25 years.1

Successful intergenerational wealth planning involves different generations and takes into account different perspectives. Don’t underestimate the role the Baby Boomer generation plays in intergenerational wealth planning.

Many Boomers worked hard to create their own opportunities as well as those for the next generation. They want to ensure their heirs are in a position to make the most of every chance they have been given while maintaining their own sense of freedom and security in retirement.

Consider these tips to work more closely with Baby Boomer clients:

  • Relationships are key. Be certain they are clearly defined with each generation.
  • Help Boomer clients understand how their roles evolve as intergenerational strategies take shape. When they are ready, identify the responsibilities of everyone involved.
  • Be sure that your Boomer clients have communicated their intentions clearly to their heirs.
  • Work with your clients to make sure they have considered how their plans align with the goals and expectations of their heirs.



Incorporating intergenerational strategies into your process often leads to new opportunities to partner with your clients in helping them accomplish their goals. Bear in mind that these concepts are not mutually exclusive of one another. As you work through these ideas with your clients, you will likely find that the most appropriate assortment of strategies and solutions is going to be unique to each fact pattern.

In addition to the resources mentioned above, Transamerica has a suite of resources available to help you and your clients navigate these important topics. Contact your Transamerica wholesaler to learn more.


1“Here’s How to Prepare Your Heir For the $68 Trillion ‘Great Wealth Transfer,'" CNBC, 2019 

2"Employee Retirement Preparedness: Millennials and Gen Z," Betterment for Business Survey, May 2020

3“Millennials: The Job-Hopping Generation,” Gallup, 2019 

42019 Real Estate Forecast: What Home Buyers, Sellers, and Investors Can Expect,” Forbes, 2018  

5Gen X Rebounds as the Only Generation to Recover the Wealth Lost After the Housing Crash,” Pew Research Center, 2018 

5“The Common Characteristics of Generation X Professionals," The Balance, 2019 

6“Why Gen X is Not a Forgotten Financial Generation,” Forbes, 2019 

7“Stop Worrying About Millennials, the Opportunities Lie Elsewhere,” Financial Planning, 2019 

Neither Transamerica nor its agents or representatives may provide tax or legal advice.  Anyone to whom this material is promoted, marketed, or recommended should consult with and rely on their own independent tax and legal professionals regarding their particular situation and the concepts presented herein.

Transamerica Resources, Inc. is an Aegon company and is affiliated with various companies which include, but are not limited to, insurance companies and broker-dealers. Transamerica Resources, Inc. does not offer insurance products or securities. The information provided is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as insurance, securities, ERISA, tax, investment, legal, medical or financial advice or guidance. Please consult your personal independent professionals for answers to your specific questions.