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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Insights - 4 Financial Concerns of the Ultra-Wealthy in 2023 and How to Solve Them

CEO Insights

4 Financial Concerns of the Ultra-Wealthy in 2023 and How to Solve Them

In light of today’s economic uncertainties, everyone is concerned about being prepared for retirement — even the ultra-wealthy. High net worth individuals, while secure in their finances today, face unique challenges when it comes to planning for the future. The following are often the biggest concerns the ultra-wealthy have about retirement and how to overcome them.  

Many high net worth individuals, even those in the top percent of earners, worry about whether they will be able to retire comfortably and how they should be saving in each phase of life. No matter how much money you have saved, retirement is never set in stone.

For many high net worth individuals, their wealth is tied up in concentrated positions or multigenerational family-owned businesses. Perhaps they earn a large income from quarterly distributions; but if those distributions shrink in hard times, cash flow disappears and the individual is no longer feeling so ultra-wealthy. Others have experienced financial hardships in their pasts and never feel satisfied that what they have saved will be “enough.” 

In addition, one of the top financial concerns for retirees is the impact of inflation on retirement planning. Uncertainty is rife in today’s economy, and predicting what will happen tomorrow (let alone in a few years’ time) is very challenging. The market volatility of 2022 has continued into 2023, keeping many high net worth individuals lowering their risks and double-checking their resources, especially if they have market exposures that make them more susceptible to turbulent economic times.

The Biggest Financial Concerns of the Ultra-Wealthy Today

While high net worth individuals are in enviable positions, their retirement plans are often more complicated and subject to change than other people’s. In turbulent times, acknowledging estate planning concerns and anxieties is key to managing both finances and emotions. Consider the following: 

  1. Shifting income taxes.
    In today’s economic environment, change is regular but unpredictable, meaning that high net worth individuals need to be on the ball as they make their retirement plans. Income tax is especially tricky right now, with several changes (and proposed changes) to both federal and state tax legislation making proactive tax planning crucial.

    While there’s no one method to minimize taxes that will work for everyone, the key to reducing the impact of change is to proactively work on an ultra-high net worth financial plan. Regular tax modeling with an advisor can help you form a successful tax mitigation strategy.

  2. The need for asset protection.
    Wealthy individuals are often concerned about how their wealth will be impacted in the event of liability, be it from an accident, a divorce, or some other claim or litigation. These concerns often become more intense during economic volatility because the stakes of losing wealth at this time are much higher.

    Ultra-high net worth financial planning can help ease these concerns. You could choose to utilize a state-sanctioned, asset-protected joint revocable trust, an irrevocable domestic asset protection trust, or an irrevocable spendthrift trust. These vehicles can help mitigate financial ruin should a loss occur. Again, being proactive is vital because most asset protection planning is not effective if performed after a claim occurs.

  3. Confusion over how to do estate planning.
    One of the greatest financial concerns for retirees is how to plan their estates. People aren’t sure how to secure their financial legacies for their children and beneficiaries, and they’re also uncertain of the estate tax implications of their wealth. Many individuals worry that an estate tax at the current rate of 40% (or higher) would significantly reduce the amount their heirs receive. They also worry about how best to distribute assets in a way to benefit — but not burden or demotivate — future generations.

    Doing estate planning early and often can help create a plan that can stand the test of time as well as be flexible enough to adapt to the changes in our economic environment. Being open and honest (both with yourself and an advisor) about your goals and desires will also help create a successful estate plan.

  4. Generational worries.
    A big concern that comes up during ultra-high net worth financial planning is how future generations will fare financially. The overall financial well-being of future generations seems to be in jeopardy when we are living with so much economic uncertainty.

    Many individuals have deliberately grown their wealth in order to protect and empower younger generations to thrive. Many others have made their money in less legacy-friendly ways — for instance, through entrepreneurship — and will need more help securing their wealth for subsequent generations. An advisor might help by educating you on what kinds of estate planning are possible and assisting with family education as well.

Why Is Financial Planning for Retirement Critically Important?

Planning is critical to weathering economic concerns, predicting the impact of inflation on retirement planning, and staying on course to achieve your dream retirement. Financial planning for ultra-high net worth individuals is a must. Working with an advisor — one who understands your concerns and is willing and able to work through complexities to ascertain actual financial strength — is one of the best ways to know for sure if you’ll be able to have the retirement you dream of.


Written by Susan Wofford Jones, J.D.
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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Insights - 4 Financial Concerns of the Ultra-Wealthy in 2023 and How to Solve Them
Susan Wofford Jones, J.D. , CFP®
Susan Wofford Jones, J.D. , CFP® is senior wealth manager at Plancorp, a full-service wealth management company serving families in 44 states. Susan is a licensed attorney and CFP who passionately provides wealth management services to all walks of life. Jones understands the many facets involved in creating a successful multi-generational family legacy and uses a forward-looking approach to help clients grow and preserve assets, reduce taxes, and realize both their financial and non-financial goals.


Susan Wofford Jones, J.D. , CFP® is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Connect with her through LinkedIn.