Millennials may soon become the richest generation ever

Baby boomers, the richest generation in history, are aging and preparing to pass down a record-breaking amount of assets.

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Nearly 45 million U.S. households will hand down about $68.4 trillion over the course of the next quarter-decade, according to research and consulting firm Cerulli Associates, a phenomenon known as the "great wealth transfer."

Baby boomers control at least 70 percent of all disposable income in the U.S.

BABY BOOMERS TO HAND DOWN $68T IN GREAT WEALTH TRANSFER

Currently, there are about 618,000 millennial millionaires – comprising roughly 2 percent of the overall millionaire population.

Millennials are set to inherit even more from their parents' generation than Baby Boomers did from theirs. And since millennials are fewer in number than Baby Boomers, some believe they could become the richest generation ever.

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"Inheritance does have the potential to make millennials the richest generation ever, even though millennials initially may be financially worse off than the baby boomers passing on the wealth," Kim Orth, Ameriprise Financial Advisor, told FOX Business. "Since the baby boomers are a larger group than millennials, that great wealth will be concentrated in a smaller segment of the population."

According to a study released by Coldwell Banker, by 2030 millennials will hold five times as much wealth as they currently do.

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As previously reported by FOX Business, this unprecedented shift in assets could have profound effects on the economy. Unlike their elders, millennials, specifically, have different economic priorities and experiences, which have shaped how they invest.

"Millennials are very community-oriented," Mary Ellen Hancock, vice president and senior wealth strategist at PNC Wealth Management, told FOX Business, adding that there could be an increased amount donated to charities as a result of the wealth transfer.

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Orth also said millennials are likely to use their inheritances to pay down debts and invest more in themselves and their personal businesses.

"There could be a tendency to rely on their expected inheritance to provide for their retirement needs, prompting them to spend more money enjoying themselves now and saving less for the future. I would also expect them to take more risk to achieve their financial goals," Orth said.

Additionally, the vast transfer of wealth is likely to perpetuate a concentration of wealth. Women, however, could get their hands on more money, Orth said.

Since individuals are living longer, the wealth transfer is likely to occur throughout the coming decades.

It may be worthwhile to speak with an expert if you are either passing down, or set to receive, a large quantity of assets.