June 6, 2011; Source: Democrat and Chronicle | Most studies about the coming wealth transfer tend to characterize it as a good thing, with many experts predicting a boon for philanthropy from some of the billions of dollars that will pass from one generation to the next. That's what makes both the acknowledgement of a coming wealth transfer in Rochester, N.Y., and fears of what happens after those hand-offs occur a bit of a surprise.

According to the Democrat and Chronicle, the Rochester Area Community Foundation has just released a study that shows that some $33.5 billion, or 42 percent of the area's current wealth, will pass over the next 20 years "from the World War II generation to baby boomers and then to their children." At the same time, the newspaper reports that foundation officials are fearful that some of that money may "possibly flee from the area" if the trend of "out-migration to other parts of the country" continues.

That's why Foundation President Jennifer Leonard is doing what she can, starting now, to see that some of that $33 billion is left behind. “If only a small fraction of that net worth, say 5 percent, transfers to the community, we will dramatically improve our ability to address changing needs and shape a vibrant future."—Bruce Trachtenberg