Wealthy generation X-ers making privilege pay

When Karen Pittelman found out her grandfather, a successful real-estate developer, had created a $3 million trust fund for her, she didn't want to keep the money.

At 24, she was frustrated with the world's inequalities and wanted to do what she could to lessen them. She persuaded skeptical parents to let her dissolve the trust and create the Chahara Foundation, dedicated to poor women in Boston. "There's such a joy in taking action for our beliefs," says Pittelman, now 31. "I was committed to being part of social change."

With generation X-ers set to inherit the wealth of baby boomers over the next several decades, more people will soon find themselves in Pittelman's situation.

According to the Government Accountability Office, the wealthiest 10 percent of baby boomers hold an average of about $3.2 million in assets, much of which they intend to bequeath.
Researchers at Boston College estimate the total intergenerational transfer of wealth could be $41 trillion through 2052.

[Excerpt of an article by Kimberly Palmer, US News & World Report]

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