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Old 08-28-2012, 08:19 AM   #21
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Interesting article and chart and probably hard to pull the data by age group.
Looking up the number of millionaires in the U.S. for 2010 and depending on the source it is either 3 million or 8 million. Anyone else have a better link for this info?
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:06 PM   #22
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Interesting article. I guess "I am the 10%."

Seriously, though, I'm not a big fan of "net worth" as a barometer of financial security or retirement security unless the actuarial "cash value" of income streams like pensions, annuities and Social Security are included. Otherwise it's apples and oranges; someone with $10,000 in the bank and a $40K COLA'd pension may well be more financially secure than someone with a million bucks in the 401K.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:39 PM   #23
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I would think having your children grown and out of the home would be a huge factor in starting to accelerate net worth in that timeframe.
I'm sure you're right... but I always forget that since it doesn't apply to me (and many of my friends) I'm a parent who started the game late... I'm 50, hubby is 60, and we have kids in grades 4 and 6... so lots of spending on them, concurrent with our ER plans. Makes for interesting financial planning challenges. I guess likes attract - because many of the parents of my kids' friends are also "senior" parents.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:29 PM   #24
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Thanks for the link.


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Another thing I noticed was the big leap in networth - across all groups between ages 40-49 and 50-59. I wonder how much of that is due to inheritance? But then again, there's a leap between 30-39 and 40-49...

But the real dollar (vs percentage) is big between the 40-somethings and the 50-somethings.
This made me look at our record.

We were age 45 in 2000.

In 2010 at age 55, when we retired, our net worth had gone up by a factor of 4.5.

In our case, the year 2000 saw our 2nd, and last, child go off the payroll, plus we were both earning the most we'd ever made and saving aggressively.

2000 - 2010 was hardly an impressive period in the stock market so if we had been in the same position in 1990 I think we'd be flying First Class now.
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:08 PM   #25
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Given that we only started working in 2000-2001, it's amazing that DW and I managed to be where we are after 2 recessions, multiple employer bankruptcies, 2 spectacular stock market blowups, and one unprecedented real estate market meltdown. We rank very high within our age group (30-39). But I think that, as we will soon transition to the next age group (40-49), it will be challenging to hang on to our current percentile. It's a pretty big step up from here, even with DW still working. It would require some decent return on assets and that looks unlikely in the current environment.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:17 PM   #26
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Yeah, it's tough to keep up with those "go-getters", particularly when you retire early.

I myself dropped out early, meaning working part-time for quite a while, and my wife retired early. Meanwhile our peers keep clocking the time, and look how their net worth keeps increasing until their age of 60-69. Well, there's the price for goofing off. One must learn to eat american ham instead of Jamón ibérico. It also helps that I drink Folgers instead of Kopi Luwak.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:50 PM   #27
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Thanks for posting. Interesting numbers. Certainly makes me feel better about our financial situation. It's interesting to me how little in assets most Americans accumulate in their lifetime. I can only assume it's only going to be worse for the next 10-20 yrs give the current recession.
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:03 PM   #28
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OK, here's a comparison to my situation.

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This made me look at our record.
We were age 45 in 2000.

In 2010 at age 55, when we retired, our net worth had gone up by a factor of 4.5.

In our case, the year 2000 saw our 2nd, and last, child go off the payroll, plus we were both earning the most we'd ever made and saving aggressively.

2000 - 2010 was hardly an impressive period in the stock market so if we had been in the same position in 1990 I think we'd be flying First Class now.
We started later, so my 2nd just finished college last year. My wife quit working 5 years ago, and I have been having iffy income since 1998. Some years, near zero. The next, AMT!

Yet, our net worth almost doubled since 2000. It is difficult to say because from 2000 to 2002, my portfolio dropped by 1/2, then more than tripled since, so it all depends on where I count. Also, we went from 1 home to 2. So, I don't think I have done too badly for a guy who goofed off early.
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:09 PM   #29
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Just above the graph, it does mention "Because the figure is the median--- half have more, half have less--- for each group it is not a "threshold" figure; actual net worth can be less to be in each group."

I really wish they'd show the threshold figures in these types of charts, rather than just medians. As for me, I fall just above the median in the top 10% of my age bracket. So, does that mean I'm really at the lower end of the top 5%?
Thanks -- that makes sense. It seemed a lot less clear to me when I was reading it last night.

Agree with you that threshold numbers would be simpler to interpret and more what I would expect when presenting percentile information. I guess the last column "median" is really the median and not the median of everybody above the median...
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:23 PM   #30
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Yeah, it's tough to keep up with those "go-getters", particularly when you retire early.
True dat.


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Originally Posted by NW-Bound
I myself dropped out early, meaning working part-time for quite a while, and my wife retired early. Meanwhile our peers keep clocking the time, and look how their net worth keeps increasing until their age of 60-69. Well, there's the price for goofing off. One must learn to eat american ham instead of Jamón ibérico. It also helps that I drink Folgers instead of Kopi Luwak.
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Also, we went from 1 home to 2.
Sell the second home and then you can eat all the Jamon iberico and drink all the Kopi Luwak you want...
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:29 PM   #31
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Well, I have been thinking that if I sell both places and cough up some additional cash, I might, just might be able to get a place with a waterfront lot on the Puget Sound.

That way, I can row a canoe out to my crab trap to get my dinner every day. I like crab more than jamon iberico and Kopi Luwak anyway, and am willing to spend the time to catch my own. In fact the cost of living like RE taxes is higher there that catching my own dinner may not be a choice.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:36 PM   #32
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I stopped surfing the RE Web sites a couple of years ago, because everything was so expensive around the sound, particularly waterfront lots.

Just now, look again out of curiosity, and what do you know, looks like there's a lot more on the market than earlier. What happened? The prices have come down quite a bit too. Looks like the recession finally caught up with the RE market there.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:16 PM   #33
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Based on a quick calculation I can make it to the 1% club pretty easily. All it takes is that I keep my current job and maintain annual over-inflation salary increases until I'm 80.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:54 AM   #34
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Because we are early retirees, perhaps our net worth peaks even earlier than the stats show, and goes downhill earlier too. Darn!
I think of that as flying below the radar, and never coming to anyone's attention.

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I would think having your children grown and out of the home would be a huge factor in starting to accelerate net worth in that timeframe.
... and out of college...
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:12 AM   #35
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The link is not leading to the same article anymore.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:31 AM   #36
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The link is not leading to the same article anymore.
Try this: AssetBuilder - The New Wealth Scoreboard - AssetBuilder Inc., Registered Investment Advisor
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:03 AM   #37
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Thanks -- that makes sense. It seemed a lot less clear to me when I was reading it last night.

Agree with you that threshold numbers would be simpler to interpret and more what I would expect when presenting percentile information. I guess the last column "median" is really the median and not the median of everybody above the median...
I agree. The numbers as presented are confusing. It would have made much more sense to present threshold numbers into each of the categories.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:39 AM   #38
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Seriously, though, I'm not a big fan of "net worth" as a barometer of financial security or retirement security unless the actuarial "cash value" of income streams like pensions, annuities and Social Security are included. Otherwise it's apples and oranges; someone with $10,000 in the bank and a $40K COLA'd pension may well be more financially secure than someone with a million bucks in the 401K.
While we disagree on the value of defined pension plans and SS (which value is lost when you die) I'll agree that it is a difficult artifact to measure. BTW, we agree on annuities, since DW/me have an SPIA with a guaranteed payout rider, regardless if we're alive or not.

Do you look at "your assets", as in the case of a married (or partnership) couple, and divide by 2?

Do you look at assets at their current value, minus "claims" (such as taxes on a TIRA account) or do you look at the "gross amount"?

These articles may have value to some folks and that's fine for them.

As for me (including DW), it dosen't matter where we are as compared to other folks. There will always be those who have more/less.

The important thing IMHO, is that we have "enough" to life the lifestyle we wish, for the remainder of the limited time we have on this earth...
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:29 AM   #39
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Why do we like to compare to our peers? Could it be simply for some personal assurance that when bad things occur, they will happen to our neighbors first? For example, in my home, when the rain is pouring, I feel smug knowing that I am on higher ground than my neighbors, although I myself may not be high enough.

It's just a human thing.

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I think of that as flying below the radar, and never coming to anyone's attention.
It's worse than flying below the radar. In the Great Recession of the 2007-2009, didn't we feel more like flying a nap-of-the-earth mission? And at night, even squeezing between trees?

In fact, some of us didn't make it, like the following pilots.
Pilot: Think I can make it between there?
Copilot: Nope!
Pilot: Oh ye of little faith. Look how big that is.
Copilot: Oh sh*t!
Pilot: Damn!
Copilot: Mayday! Mayday!
Pilot: I've got it, I've got it...
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:32 AM   #40
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While we disagree on the value of defined pension plans and SS (which value is lost when you die) I'll agree that it is a difficult artifact to measure. BTW, we agree on annuities, since DW/me have an SPIA with a guaranteed payout rider, regardless if we're alive or not.
My point was simply that "net worth" isn't the most accurate barometer of overall financial security because it doesn't factor in the real value of income streams that have no actual cash value.
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