Transfer of Wealth

Residents of Missouri have accumulated substantial amounts of wealth since the end of World War II. Over the next 10 years, Missourians will transfer an estimated $134 billion to the next generation. Over 50 years, that amount increases to a staggering $1,510 billion passing from one generation to the next.

These findings are part of the recently completed Missouri Transfer of Wealth (TOW) Study. The results of this study are available through the Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri. The study was sponsored by the Alliance of Missouri Community Foundations and the USDA with the goal of strengthening individual and community wealth and vitality across the counties of Missouri. The Transfer of Wealth study estimates household estate wealth that will be transferred from one generation to the next statewide and in Missouri’s individual counties.

This TOW study will be used by community foundations statewide to help Missourians understand the need to keep a portion of the money earned in our region benefiting future generations. It will also be used to increase philanthropy resulting in the sustainability of social and human services. In an ever increasing environment of dwindling state and federal monetary assistance, philanthropic dollars will be needed to bridge future gaps maintaining regional sustainability.

Northwest Missouri’s Future: The $51 billion Opportunity

In 50 years, $51.37 billion will transfer from one generation to the next in Northwest Missouri. That’s just our local slice of a $56.3 trillion transfer of wealth that will ripple through this country. And in Northwest Missouri, the majority of those dollars will change hands from 2010 to 2060.

Much of this wealth is currently invested in family homes, farms, retirement accounts, and other appreciated assets—some of which may be heavily taxed if given to heirs. With most estates in the U.S., the vast majority of assets go to heirs. For generations, people lived their entire lives close to their birthplace and as wealth passed from one generation to the next, most stayed in the same town or county. This is no longer true… once the wealth leaves our communities, it may never return.

You may be surprised to discover that our region has a significant amount of private wealth today: $18.06 billion. Collectively, we can secure the future for Northwest Missouri.

Find out more by accessing the WEALTH IN MISSOURI AND ITS COUNTIES Report. Assuming 5% of all final estates are contributed to the Community Foundation. Endowed funds are invested at an estimated return of 8.5% and grant and community foundation services are paid out at 5% per year. Named funds will benefit the community in perpetuity.

TOW chart 2

To realize the 5% potential for Missouri the next 50 years are critical. It’s a limited window of time… during which we have the opportunity to preserve some of today’s wealth for tomorrow’s generations.

Stronger Community

The Community Foundation is asking people who love Northwest Missouri to consider giving to the Stronger Communities Endowment Fund. We have established this fund to help donors leave a permanent legacy for Northwest Missouri. By giving to the endowment fund, donors can help communities in Northwest Missouri be strong and viable forever.

Endowed funds last forever and grow over time because the principal is never spent. Earnings are used to make grants in the name of each fund, supporting charitable causes and creating personal legacies of giving in Northwest Missouri. Because assets earmarked for the Stronger Communities Endowment Fund are unrestricted, they can be used to address pressing needs and not-to-be missed opportunities in our community—even as they change over time.

We find that charitable funds are a significant source of pride for future generations.They are a lasting tribute to your life, your connection to this community, and your commitment to its future. If you are retired, a planned gift from your estate may be more attractive to you and your family than a large gift today. You can leave a permanent legacy of giving, be a source of pride to your family and join others like you—building a stronger community.


Three easy ways to make a planned gift to your Stronger Communities Fund include:

-Designate the Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri  as the beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k) or other retirement account. These assets can lose up to 70% of their value when passed to heirs; changing the beneficiary designation does not involve modifying your estate plan.

-Designate the Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. There is no need to modify your estate plan.

-Ask your attorney to add the Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri to your estate plan

Now is the time to make sure that the transfer of wealth is a transformative force for good in Northwest Missouri. Gifts of all sizes will add up to big benefits this community will experience for generations. We can work with you or your professional advisor to discuss the year-end and long-term giving options that will make tax time more rewarding—for you and your community.