In 2007, Ameriprise Financial commissioned research that looked across three generations of Americans — baby boomers, their children and their parents — to gain a deeper understanding of how each group perceives, talks about and deals with money and financial issues. The Money Across Generations® study revealed that many families are having insufficient discussions about their financial needs and goals, and may unknowingly be sabotaging their future financial security. Findings also suggested that boomers need to take a more realistic look at how the generous financial support they provide others may be throwing their retirement plans off track.

Today, following the recession that rocked Wall Street and Main Streets across the U.S., many American families are faced with a very different financial reality than they were five years ago. The Money Across Generations IISM study replicates the original survey to provide a before and after comparison. It offers an in-depth look at how the financial needs and attitudes of each generation have evolved — and how this could continue to impact boomers’ ability to retire the way they desire. Understanding each other’s needs and views could help generations of families better prepare for retirement and ensure they are supporting each other in a more meaningful and financially viable manner.

The Money Across Generations IISM study was commissioned by Ameriprise Financial, Inc. and conducted by telephone by GfK in December 2011 among 1,006 affluent baby boomers (those with $100,000 or more in investable assets); 300 parents of baby boomers; and 300 children of baby boomers at least 18 years old. The margin of error is +/- three percentage points for the affluent boomers segment and +/- six percentage points for the parents and children of boomers segments.