POWER of Our Generations

We have the collective clout to make a better future through legacy giving

Happy pensioner couple sign contract with realtors or brokers buying house or property together.

Have you left a gift to a favourite charity in your will? It’s a smart, empowering and feel-good choice more and more empty-nesters are making as they plan for the future. In fact, we members of the Silent, Baby Boomer and X generations have enormous, collective power to make a better future.

As Liza Agrba notes in an article called The Next Wave of Trickle-Down Wealth is Upon Us at, “A seismic quantity of wealth to the tune of $1 trillion is set to move from Canadian Baby Boomers to their GenX and Millennial heirs between now and 2026. It’s predicted to be the largest generational transfer of wealth in Canadian history—accelerated in part by the increasing popularity of “giving while living”—with potentially significant downstream effects on the country’s economic landscape.”

Retirement Planning

Canadians, we know, are generous by nature. “In 2021,” according to Statistics Canada, “tax filers reported giving to charitable organizations more than $11.8 billion (+11.5 per cent) and their median annual charitable donations increased to $360 (+5.9 per cent).”

The stats also show older Canadians are more apt to make charitable donations. At the same time, research suggests that for a lot of people in the fifty-five-plus age group, the pandemic served as a wake-up call to review their estate plans and update their wills. If you haven’t done so or you’ve put off getting a will, now’s the time. Regardless of your age or your life circumstances, it’s wise to get this done. After all, “wealth transfer” and “estate planning” aren’t just for wealthy people.

Estate planning amounts to deciding what to do with your money and assets so that they go to the people and causes you care about most. If you don’t do it, you’ll have lost control over all you’ve earned and worked for in a lifetime.

Estate planning worksheet

A precise, detailed legal plan puts you in control. It eliminates any fallout or hard feelings amongst loved ones and avoids problems after you pass away. It also reduces legal expenses and tax payout. Just as importantly, it allows you to contribute to something good and meaningful that really matters to you.

As a way of giving back and paying it forward, planned giving can be infinitely more impactful than handing over $20 bills or a cheque at the door.  You can choose one, two or several specific causes that really matter to you and arrange gifts that will continue supporting these charities of choice for years to come. There is no negative impact on your financial welfare here and now and there’s no downside for your family, since the gifts are part of your will.

It’s simple, effective, and, depending on the tax laws, leaving gifts to charity in your will may shrink the taxes payable upon your death. That’s right. You can actually save money for your estate. To verify whether a charity is registered under the Income Tax Act, check the charity listings on the Canada Revenue Agency website at

Then use your means to support the causes and contribute to the sustainability of organizations that represent your values. That’s quite a legacy.