November 07, 2023

Planning to leave an inheritance? Time to clear the heir. Boomers and Millennials aren't on the same page about inheritance plans

Sun Life empowers Canadians to make the best wealth, health, and protection decisions across generations on their terms.

A recent survey conducted by Ipsos for Sun Life revealed that Boomers intend to leave a much greater inheritance than Millennials are expecting to receive. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)

TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2023 /CNW/ - When it comes to inheritance and transferring wealth from one generation to the next, Boomer intentions and Millennial expectations do not add up. A recent survey conducted by Ipsos for Sun Life revealed that Boomers intend to leave a much greater inheritance than Millennials are expecting to receive. Boomers who cite they are giving 100% of their inheritance to their child(ren) intend to leave an average amount of $940,000 compared to the average $309,000 Millennials expect to receive. This gap increases when Boomers work with a financial advisor and expect to leave just over one million dollars.

"We are experiencing the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in Canada's history," said Rowena Chan, President, Sun Life Financial Distributors (Canada) Inc., and Senior Vice-President Retail Advice & Solutions. "Canadians have a significant opportunity to secure lifetime financial security for themselves and their loved ones for future generations - and it's never too early to start planning. Whether through a self-serve model, working with an advisor, or a combination of both, having a holistic plan in place empowers our Clients to make the best wealth, health, and protection decisions across generations, on their terms."

It is expected that $1 trillion in personal wealth will be transferred from one generation to the next in Canada by the end of 20261. But are we facing this important reality or letting lifetime financial security pass us by?

Preparing the next generation to manage wealth.

As Canadians live longer lives of higher quality, they face a new host of concerns when planning for a secure financial future, at any age. Living expenses, market volatility, retirement costs, lifestyle needs, healthcare considerations, and leaving a legacy are all top of mind.

Of the 44% of Boomers surveyed who plan to leave an inheritance, less than half (47%) have an estate plan and one quarter (26%) have not discussed their plans with the intended recipient. With over half of Millennials (57%) surveyed who expect an inheritance intending to add it to their retirement savings, it's become increasingly important to ensure the next generation understands how to manage wealth and build a secure financial roadmap for the future. The survey also finds that 55% of Millennials who expect an inheritance plan to use it towards rising housing costs, followed by 36% using it to pay down debt.

"Receiving an inheritance presents a huge opportunity for Millennials whose generation has faced immense economic pressure including volatile interest rates and exorbitant housing costs," said Brian Burlacoff, Advisor, Sun Life. "It's important for Boomers and Millennials alike to have transparent conversations about estate planning and it pays to start early. Working with a trusted professional who can offer holistic advice and solutions will be particularly beneficial to Canadians who are concerned about preserving their wealth, protecting their heirs from unexpected tax burdens, and having enough money in retirement to live a full and healthy life."

Sun Life is committed to helping Canadians build thriving futures at any life stage – and it all starts with a plan.

  • Create a financial roadmap - A financial roadmap that encompasses wealth, health, and protection is key to achieving your goals. Sun Life One Plan helps Clients set, track, and continuously adjust personalized goals.
  • Connect with an advisor - Sun Life advisors offer holistic advice, tailored to your needs, to ensure you have the right mix of investment, insurance, and health solutions to achieve your goals. Find the right advisor for you.
  • Trusted wealth management - Building a secure financial future in a world of permanent uncertainty has never been harder. Sun Life Global Investments helps retail and institutional investors build wealth and manage risk through innovative products and solutions.
  • Sun Life Learning Labs - Check out Sun Life's free financial education webinars. Each webinar covers a different stage of your journey to retirement.
About the survey

The survey is based on findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 30 and September 1, 2023. A sample of 750 Millennials, aged 27-42 and 750 Boomers, aged 58-77 was drawn from the Ipsos I-Say online panel. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 4.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, for each sample had all Canadian Millennials or Boomers been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About Sun Life

Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing asset management, wealth, insurance and health solutions to individual and institutional Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2023, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1.37 trillion. For more information, please visit

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Note to editors: All figures in Canadian dollars.

Media Relations Contact:  
Taylor Donnelly
Senior Specialist, Corporate Communications
T. 416-577-7543


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SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.