Edward Jones study: New trend finds a majority of Canadians looking to leave an inheritance before they pass away

News release | Nov. 16, 2021

56 per cent of Canadians over 45 are looking to experience the legacy they leave to loved ones

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – According to a recent survey by investment firm Edward Jones, more than half (65 per cent) of Canadians are looking to pass along their inheritance, or at least a portion of it, to their loved ones before they’re gone. This is a surprising shift from more traditional wealth transfers, where inheritors typically receive an inheritance after the passing of a family member or loved one.

This trend indicates that there is a desire amongst Canadians to experience their legacy. More than half (56 per cent) of respondents over the age of 45 said they are motivated to gift assets before they pass so they can see their inheritors benefit from what they leave behind.

Finding purpose in wealth transfer

When Canadians think about giving an inheritance, helping their loved ones financially is what matters the most to them. More than three-quarters (76 per cent) of Canadians want to transfer their wealth to financially support their loved ones. They want to help a family member purchase their first home in a competitive real estate market or provide them with the means to start or grow their family.

According to the study, more than half of respondents (58 per cent) also believe a financial need of a family member or friend would motivate them to leave an inheritance before they pass. This particularly resonated with women (67 per cent) compared to men (58 per cent). It also resonated with respondents living in provinces with the highest costs of living, such as British Columbia (69 per cent), Alberta (66 per cent), and Ontario (65 per cent).

These insights align with a previous study Edward Jones conducted in partnership with Age Wave, which found that 63 per cent of retirees are willing to offer financial support to their family, even if it jeopardizes their own financial future. The study also found that a majority of retirees view family as their greatest source of purpose in retirement (72 per cent). With these insights in mind, it appears that Canadians are prioritizing family members with an immediate financial need.  

“We are in the midst of the largest transfer of wealth in Canadian history, and for many, particularly younger Canadians, the financial support they receive from loved ones is helping accelerate their progress towards long-term goals, such as owning a home or starting a family,“ said David Gunn, President of Edward Jones Canada. “Whether you want to experience your legacy while you’re living, or leave a legacy behind after you pass away, it’s never too early to start planning.”

Procrastination an issue for Canadians

Despite the growing appetite and range of motivations to give an inheritance early in Canada, another recent survey by Edward Jones found that almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of the population over the age of 45 have not started planning for intergenerational wealth transfer. 29 per cent of respondents said they did not know where to begin while 32 per cent admitted procrastination is the main reason they haven't begun to plan. So, while the desire to start planning is there, barriers to action remain.

“An intergenerational wealth transfer is a multifaceted and emotional process,” said Gunn. “That’s why relationships matter so much in financial services. A trusting relationship with a seasoned financial advisor who prioritizes the principles of kindness, empathy, patience and understanding is imperative to navigating the complexities of your legacy and uncovering what matters most to you and your family, why, and how to chart the course for the best outcome.”

About Edward Jones

Edward Jones is a full-service investment dealer with more than 850 financial advisors in Canadian communities from coast-to-coast. A member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund, the firm is also a participating organization in the Toronto Stock Exchange. Edward Jones is a proud supporter of partners in the health and wellness space such as The Terry Fox Foundation, whose mission supports initiatives positively impacting cancer research. For more information, visit edwardjones.ca.

About the Surveys

An online survey targeted to 600 Canadians, age of 45 years or older, was conducted via Google Consumer Surveys between Oct 26th and Oct 30th, 2021. No margin of error can be associated with a non-probability survey but for comparative purposes a probability sample of 600 respondents would have a margin of error of +/- 5.3% with 99% confidence.

An online survey of 1,509 adult Canadians, 18 years of age of older was conducted via Pollara Strategic Insights between November 1st to 2nd, 2021. A representative sample of this size would be considered accurate to within ±2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Results have been weighted using the latest StatsCan data to be representative of the Canadian population as a whole.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

David Kitai, Edward Jones
[email protected], (905) 306-8764

Youjin Choi, Proof Strategies for Edward Jones
[email protected], (613) 295-6715