What constitutes a family continues to evolve in the United States. The traditional family — husband, wife and biological children — still predominates, but there are now many variations. Half-siblings, adopted children or stepchildren; divorced, never married or remarried couples; same-sex partners — these are all growing in numbers. A significant result for high-net-worth families, according to the 2014 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth® survey, one of the most in-depth studies of its kind, is that wealth planning needs are also growing in complexity.
As Keith Banks, president of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, has noted: “Family, whatever it may look like or how it was formed, is a relationship like no other that can be life’s greatest blessing or challenge, depending on the quality of relationships and shared values. Each family member and each generation has distinct needs and perspectives that are commingled and must be considered as part of the wealth planning process.”
The results of the 2014 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth® survey also showed that while many families feel generally more financially secure and optimistic about the markets post–Great Recession, they remain wary about the risk of financial losses. Many still have large holdings in the relative safety of cash; and to the extent they are not content with large cash positions, they feel they are missing out on opportunities.
Here are selected insights about the modern family and its wealth planning needs. For more, read the full report at ustrust.com/survey.
For more, read the full report at ustrust.com/survey.
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The 2014 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth® survey is based on a nationwide survey of 680 high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth adults with at least $3 million in investable assets, not including the value of their primary residence. Respondents were equally divided among those who have between $3 million and $5 million, $5 million and $10 million, and $10 million or more in investable assets. The survey was conducted online by the independent research firm Phoenix Marketing International in February and March of 2014. Asset information was self-reported by the respondent. Verification for respondent qualification occurred at the panel company, using algorithms in place to ensure consistency of information provided, and was confirmed with questions from the survey itself. All data have been tested for statistical significance at the 95% confidence level.