An Opportunity for Thomas County

Transfer of Wealth

The information on this page comes from the Kansas Transfer of Wealth study by Michael Busch of Wichita State University and the Center for Economic Development and Business Research, which can be found in its entirety at The findings of Michael Busch's research were so extraordinary that the study was done not once, but twice, to verify just how much wealth will be transferred from one generation to another in the coming years. His findings were nothing short of incredible.

Research Overview and Transfer of Wealth Background

A Transfer of Wealth study commissioned by the Kansas Health Foundation and conducted by the Center of Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University estimates the current net worth of Kansas residents to be $545 billion. This unprecedented amount of wealth has been created, invested and multiplied since the age of business growth following the Great Depression and World War II.  Over the next 10 years, $66 billion is expected to pass from one generation to the next. And over the next 50 years, $598 billion of wealth is expected to transfer.  Most will go to heirs and taxes, but Kansas community foundations are leading an effort to ensure that a portion is preserved and invested in communities across the state.

The Kansas Association of Community Foundations collaborated with the Kansas Health Foundation to analyze the transfer of wealth data for the purpose of enhancing statewide philanthropic giving. The Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University carried out the study in 2007 and updated it in 2012, estimating future intergenerational wealth transfer for each county in Kansas. A model initially created by Boston College was used to determine a value for total wealth in Kansas. The estimation of transfer of wealth is considered a possible future scenario for communities to consider; it is not a prediction or an absolute number about the future.

How Can Thomas County Benefit?

Transfer of Wealth figures present an opportunity to all Kansas communities for local charitable giving. Even our small county has an opportunity to enhance our neighborhoods, schools, organizations, all of our passions and interests by contributing to the lasting endowment of the Thomas County Community Foundation. For over 16 years, Thomas County Community Foundation has given grants and scholarships to benefit our community and is the only non-profit organization that supports every non-profit, civic group, school, and government agency within Thomas County. Our sincerest hopes are that a small 5% of this transfer of wealth stays local, and is gifted to your favorite non-profit organization. This section is to help you understand how your generous contribution to the Thomas County Community Foundation will make a lasting impact, as a lasting family legacy, forever.

...In the next 12 years (from 2020 to 2029), the transfer of wealth estimate for Thomas County is over $281 million. Over the next 50 years, the estimated transfer of wealth is just under $1 billion. Using the conservative goal of capturing just 5% of the likely transfer of wealth between now and 2020, $2.5 could be realized for our community endowment for local nonprofits. Using our 5% payout rate, a remarkable ?????? would be available every year for community betterment projects in Thomas County and that number would continue to grow over time, providing sustainable resources for many generations to come.

Transfer of Wealth Estimates for Thomas County

Transfer of Wealth

2020 - 2029


Our Hopes for Charitable Giving

2020 - 2029


Transfer of Wealth

2020 - 2064


Our Hopes for Charitable Giving

2020 - 2064


Learn About the Shift

The population of Thomas County in 2014 was 7,891. From 202 to 2029, it is estimated that the population of our county will decrease almost 13%. And from 2020 to 2064, it's estimated to decrease a staggering 58.5%. This overwhelming population change is due largely to the death of our older generations and our younger generations are moving away.


What happens to our family legacies and our estates?  Taxes are taken, a small portion is given to charity, and the majority is given as an inheritance to our young family members who have long since given up their small Kansas roots and have moved to the big city. Most of our younger generations are not invested in our farming community anymore, nor are they interested in preserving our schools and churches or our civic groups and neighborhoods. We hope that you'll take this into consideration and commit a small 5% of your legacy to remain at home, here in Thomas County by donating to your favorite charity or to the Thomas County Community Foundation where it can grow in perpetuity and would be available every year forever for community betterment projects.

What Can YOU Do?

  1. Designate the Thomas County Community Foundation or your favorite charity as a beneficiary of a portion of your retirement account.

  2. Designate the Thomas County Community Foundation or your favorite charity as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy.

  3. Ask your professional advisor to add the Thomas County Community Foundation  or your favorite charity to your estate plan.

  4. Start the conversation with your friends and neighbors.

  5. Be willing to share your own giving story and encourage others to do the same.

  6. Invite TCCF Director Barry Kaaz or a board member to share the Transfer of Wealth information with anyone who will listen.

  7. Introduce TCCF Director Barry Kaaz or a board member to your professional financial advisors, and your friends and family who may be potential donors.

A memorandum of understanding on file at the community foundation will provide direction for how you'd like your charitable legacy to be handled and which nonprofit organization or causes you'd like to benefit.

We would certainly appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about how you can join us in securing the future of our community forever. Please call Director Barry Kaaz at the Thomas County Community Foundation, (785) 460-9152.