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10 Ways the Rich Avoid the Taxman



10 Ways the Rich Avoid the Taxman

10 Ways the Rich Avoid the Taxman

Nobody likes taxes. However, when the super rich are stuck in forfeiting millions of dollars to taxes each year, they probably despise them even more than the average person.

That’s where their dough comes in handy: they can afford to have their legions of legal and accounting advisors to move around their money around through common loopholes in the system. This infographic shows how the wealthy avoid paying massive amounts of tax that they would pay if they just took everything as straight up income.

The top 10 methods to help the rich avoid taxes include: freezing the value of assets, sending money overseas, using a shell company or incorporating a personal brand, stock options, and deferred compensation plans.

Original graphic from: Top Accounting Degrees

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Visualizing $156 Trillion in U.S. Assets, by Generation

We’ve visualized data from the Federal Reserve to provide a comprehensive break down of U.S. assets by generation.



Visualizing U.S. Wealth by Generation

The distribution of wealth is an important measure of the economic power of each generation.

In the U.S., for example, baby boomers own half of the nation’s $156 trillion in assets despite making up 21% of the country’s population.

To learn more about U.S. wealth by generation, we’ve created two visualizations using Q4 2022 data from the Federal Reserve that break down both the assets and liabilities held by each American generation.

Assets by Generation

Assets by generation are listed in the table below. All figures are as of Q4 2022 and in USD trillions.

GenerationEquities &
Mutual Funds
Durable and
Other Assets
Generation's Total
Silent Generation$5.3$4.8$2.0$1.7$4.9$18.6
Baby Boomers$19.0$18.3$16.2$7.9$16.7$78.1
Generation X$8.8$13.6$9.5$6.0$8.1$46.0

Baby boomers’ biggest category of assets is Equities & Mutual Funds, where they own 56% of the national total. Millennials, on the other hand, represent just 2%.

Where millennials do have more wealth is Real Estate, with 12% of the national total. This suggests that millennials have, for the most part, foregone investing in financial assets in order to purchase a home.

Liabilities by Generation

The following charts show a breakdown of liabilities by generation. Not surprisingly, Mortgages make up the largest component of liabilities for all generations.

US Liabilities by Generation

Something to highlight is that millennials are carrying the largest amount of Consumer Credit, at $2 trillion (representing about 43% of total consumer credit). As of 2022, millennials accounted for 22% of the U.S. population.

U.S. Wealth by Generation

Finally, we subtract liabilities from assets to arrive at total wealth by generation in the United States. Figures again are USD and in trillions.

GenerationAssetsLiabilitiesWealthShare of Wealth
Silent Generation$18.6$0.8$17.813%
Baby Boomers$78.1$5.1$73.053%
Generation X$46.0$7.0$39.028%

As a final note, it’s worth highlighting that Gen Z is still too young to be included as a separate demographic in datasets like these. Born between 1997 and 2012, these individuals are currently between 11 and 26 years old. Interestingly, the Federal Reserve currently considers all U.S. adults born after 1981 as millennials.

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