At Goldstone Financial Group, we stress a solid plan for your personal retirement, but a recent report may suggest that saving more for your personal retirement is also charitable.

A new study from Merrill Lynch and the Age Wave research firm proposes that Baby Boomers may be the most giving generation by an estimated $8 trillion. Through donations and volunteer work, the next 20 years could see boomers pulling ahead in philanthropy. According to the study, this generation’s life expectancy increase and solid planning for retirement means they are contributing more to their savings, and having more money to give back.

Says Head of Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lorna Sabbia, “Retirees have access to more savings and more time than younger people.”

Merrill Lynch came to the figure by using current charitable giving and figures from Boston College to arrive at the $8 trillion hypothesis. Ken Dychtwald, CEO & Founder of Age Wave, actually thinks the figure is too low if we factor that the $8 trillion is based on today’s dollars.

A 2014 Wall Street Journal article slated 10,000 boomers (aged 51 to 69) to retire every single day.  As of 2 years ago, retirees made up 31 percent of the adult U.S. population and give 42 percent of their money to charity and 45 percent volunteer hours.  “[…] in 20 years, 60 percent of all charitable giving will be by people over 65,” Dychtwald stated.

As people enter retirement age, they are more thoughtful about how they can make a difference and with more means to do so. People over 65 volunteer twice as much time than the generation before them (people aged 35 to 44), and also beat out their parents’ generation for more thoughtful giving.

None of these figures is a surprise to Giving USA Foundation who think we may be hard-wired to give back. “The big takeaway is that Americans continue to demonstrate that giving to causes they care about is part of our national DNA […}”.

If the study is accurate, boomers are in good shape for retirement. Because of that, they will leave a legacy of wanting to give more, with more money in which to do so in retirement.