Guest Post: Technology and the great wealth transfer

This piece was originally featured on the Onist blog.

Millennials. They’re all we hear about these days.

There are so many of them, they’re the talk of the job market, and ‘they are the future’. That’s all true, but there is another generation we seem to have all but forgotten about. There are 110 million Americans aged 50 and older. And in Canada for the first time ever, seniors make up a bigger share of the population than children. Extrapolate that even further, and the number of people in the world aged 60 and over is projected to double in size to 2.1 billion people by 2030.

Seniors make up significant portion of population, but millennials seem to be the focus of technology

What makes this especially interesting is that seniors control a significant portion of the world’s wealth, and a massive $30 trillion of that wealth is expected to soon be transferred to the next generation. How will that next generation help their parents make that transfer? How will they help their parents manage their money as they age and possibly develop medical conditions like dementia or Alzheimers that render them unable to manage their own finances?

What is the tech industry missing?

These big numbers make it abundantly clear that the tech industry is missing a key demographic. They’re ignoring billions of people who also want, and need their lives made easier by technology. I know what you’re thinking – the older generation isn’t using tech, they’re not online, they’re playing scrabble. And while they may be playing Scrabble, it’s not around a physical table – it’s on their computers and iPhones. 40% of seniors today have smartphones, and 80% are online.

To recap – those 50+ have amassed real wealth. They’re about to transfer trillions of dollars to the next generation. They’re online looking for technology to help them manage their finances. But everyone’s focused on helping millennials.

The financial management solution

This brings us back to the most important question: how are we supposed to help our parents with their finances as they age? (And given that almost 35 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult 50 or older in the last year – this is a real problem that’s only growing.). We could sort through our parents filing cabinets and Rolodexes when we need information to help them. We could create spreadsheets with multiple, manual columns, rows and tabs. Or we could look to technology to help us and our parents begin the process of getting their financial matters together, in one place, where we can easily access everything when the time comes and they need our help.

And I believe that’s the role of fintech – don’t you?

So Onist, a fintech startup, stepped up to the plate. We looked at the people who are about to need tremendous help and exactly what they’ll need to do, and we created a solution just for them:

  • Families are starting to manage their parent’s finances – create different ‘households’ within your account to clearly see which family members (siblings, parents, spouses) are connected to who with regards to joint and individual accounts
  • Families need a central place to store all of their financial information – this way spouses can get on the same page in case the unexpected happens, and all their diverse accounts, investments and advisors are in one place that’s easy to access from anywhere
  • Families need a secure place to save all their important documents like wills and insurance policies – our ‘vault’ serves that exact purpose with beyond bank-level security
  • Families need to be able to share their financial information – with a spouse in case something happens to one of them, aging parents or grown children, and chat and collaboration features within Onist make this easy

Onist’s collaborative financial management platform solves all of these problems, in one easy to access place. So sign up for a free Onist account and let us know what you think about how we’ve used technology to solve a problem for those with different but equally important needs!

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