When It Comes to Giving, Gen X Trumps Boomers

Young millionaires give nearly twice as much as older generations.

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Members of generation X may be in big trouble when it comes to savings and retirement, but it turns out that they're more philanthropic than older generations. A new survey from Northern Trust found that gen X millionaires give nearly twice as much, on average, to charitable causes as their elders.

In 2006, gen X millionaire households gave nearly $20,000, compared with boomers and silent generation millionaires, who gave roughly $10,000, according to the study. Looking ahead, gen X millionaires plan to increase their giving modestly. Meanwhile, older, high-net-worth households expect their 2008 giving to remain roughly the same as in 2006 and 2007. More findings:

• Gen X households are also more generous in their intended charitable bequests, planning to give 22 percent of their estate to charity, compared with 16 percent for boomers and 14 percent for silent generation millionaires.

• Asked about their main philanthropic goals, 5 percent of gen X millionaires said that creating a lasting legacy for themselves or their family was their main goal (compared with 4 percent of older millionaires), and 12 percent stated that honoring a loved one was their primary goal (compared with 5 percent of older millionaires).

• Gen X millionaires are more globally inclined in their giving than older generations: Fourteen percent of the organizations receiving donations from gen X households operate internationally, compared with 8 percent for baby boomers and 5 percent for silent generation millionaires.

baby boomers

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