Friday, March 07, 2014

Some Really Concerning Economic Numbers

Most Americans have virtually no net worth and have saved next to nothing for retirement.

Government workers make up 14% of the work force, yet their expected pensions exceed the value of the 401(k) balances for the other 86% of workers.

I suppose that this should come as no surprise to me, since my parents currently draw $70,000 per year from their state pensions.  Assuming even a 6% rate of return on a 401(k) and a retirement of only 16 years (81 expected life span – 65 at retirement), to get $70,000 per year, I would need approximately $725,000 in a 401(k).    And if I lived 17 years?  Well, at that point I am down to $0.

Some other disturbing notes – median household net worth without house value:  around $30,000!!!!    My dad was a school employee and a part-time farmer and I recall him doing a balance sheet around 1980 - he had an $80,000 net worth...35 years ago.  We were SUPER wealthy, I guess.

Median home equity -- $75,000

And as one commenter to the article notes, the average home equity (total home equity divided by number of households) is almost $700,000.   So that means there are people at the way, way top who are making up for tens of thousands at the bottom with nothing.  John McCain and spouse alone probably have what?  $100,000,000 in home equity (not that John would know)?  That would offset 143 of the $0 folks.

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