Seeking Alpha

How To Shrink The Baby Boomer Wealth Gap Without A Wealth Tax

by: Ronald Surz
Ronald Surz
Registered investment advisor, ETF investing
Summary

The wealth gap between rich and poor seniors is widening, an inequity that needs correction.

There's a natural order that's likely to shrink the gap. No taxes needed.

The rich need to act now before it's too late.

In The Distressing Growth of Wealth Inequality of Boomers, author Richard Eisenberg reports on the recent findings of several studies that show that the gap between rich and poor baby boomers has widened substantially, observing:

“While the share of financial assets owned by the top 25% of boomer households grew from 86% in 2004 to 91% in 2016, the share owned by the bottom 50% shrank from 3% to under 2%.”

The article predicts that this gap will persist and may even widen, but there's a natural order that's likely to shrink the gap rather than widen it. Wealthy boomers are poised to lose a substantial portion of their wealth.

My recent article on Don't Ruin A Happy Retirement is a warning for seniors. Many are taking way too much risk. This could work out for them, but the consequences of being unlucky are terrible. Lifestyles can be ruined and the length of time that savings last could be radically reduced. My advice in that article to seniors is to run to safety now even if their advisors disagree.

This is not a market timing call. I have no crystal ball. It’s risk management. Savings are currently at their highest for most seniors, so losses now will be more costly, and seniors won’t get a second chance.

Conclusion

Be careful what you wish for. The Eisenberg article concludes with suggested remedies for shrinking the boomer wealth gap. We may find that the capital markets solve this problem in a very painful way, even worse than taxes

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Additional disclosure: As CIO and CEO of GlidePath Wealth Management, I help investors deal with life events by charting a lifelong investment path that leads to a successful retirement, including those fortunate to live a long life,