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U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-25-2005, 01:51 PM   #1
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U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/wealt.../wlth98-1.html

I've wondered...."why is this data tracked so explicitly?"
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-25-2005, 02:01 PM   #2
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

Quote:
I've wondered...."why is this data *tracked so explicitly?"
It gives 1/2 of americans a goal to work towards, and a reason for the other 1/2 to feel good about themselves.
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-25-2005, 03:38 PM   #3
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

Woohoo! I'm above average in all or nearly all of my demographic categories.

I'm curious how they obtain the data, though. Is it filled in by the individual?

Wow...look at the last column. "Other assets" $23,369 is the median? What are people counting there that's not in the other columns? I have a feeling people are adding in their couch and golf clubs. Or maybe they're not counting all the zeroes for the median?
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-25-2005, 06:09 PM   #4
 
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

If I got serious about net worth computation, I would include everything but the leftovers in the fridge.
Just the old accountant in me I guess.

JG
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-25-2005, 10:51 PM   #5
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

Quote:
Wow...look at the last column. "Other assets" $23,369 is the median? What are people counting there that's not in the other columns?
Many people especially home owners have a lot of money tied up in "stuff". A set of good bed sheets can cost $100. Once I looked carefully at my homeowner's insurance policy. I think at the time my house was insured for $150,000 (it isn't worth that IMO), and the contents were insured for half that or $75,000. I went running into the agent's office figuring I could get a big premium reduction by lowering that to a more reasonable figure of $10,000 or so. He said no way, if your house is worth $150,000 the crap in it is worth $75,000. This idea is completely illogical, and it serves the insurance industry by increasing premiums. Yet I think that often we do underestimate how much we have tied up in books, CDs, DVDs, musical instruments, guns, bed sheets, curtains, furniture, tools and on and on.

I don't like to think about it because it is depressing how much I have sunk into that stuff over the years.

Mikey
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-26-2005, 04:23 AM   #6
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

Hmmm..this is really interesting info. *Wonder what the table would like just before the stock bubble burst and now, if there would be any significant shift in allocations. *

Does anyone know how to print out all columns widthwise to fit on one page? *Already tried landscape, cut paste, adjusting margins.
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-26-2005, 04:27 AM   #7
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

When getting rental insurance 3.5 years ago I thought $15k of coverage would be way too much but was surprised when the insurance agent and I started figuring the replacement cost of my stuff. I came up with $20-$25k on just the furniture, electronics and camera equipment alone.

However, I doubt I could walk away with anywhere near $5k if I had a yard sale or eBay frenzy and sold everything.

I guess it goes back to the purpose of net worth. Which is why I wonder how they came up with this census data and how consistent each contributor was with the definition of net worth and how realistic they were.

I think of net worth as being what I would have left if I liquidated everything, not what I spent on everything I have, and certainly not replacement cost of my stuff. But I usually shortcut even that by not considering my "stuff" and car, because in financial planning it's impractical to consider "spending" my car or my TV. Plus if I did liquidate posessions I think it would bring only $5k-$8k (including the car).
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-26-2005, 04:34 AM   #8
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

Going back to mikey's $150k house, I'm guessing you thought of this, but you only need to insure the cost of replacing stuff and rebuilding the house since the land value isn't destroyed by fires, floods and such. (Well, and liability for armchair lawyers that slip on your sidewalk.) Then again rebuilding anew may cost more than buying an equivalent property & existing house.

Quote:
Does anyone know how to print out all columns widthwise to fit on one page? Already tried landscape, cut paste, adjusting margins.
You could try shrinking the font size, but I'm not sure that affects printing. You can highlight and copy the chart in IE and then paste it into Excel where you could hide and/or resize columns to fit. You can also open the URL with Excel and retain more of the original formatting. Just tried both and they worked, but I didn't try fitting the print on one page.
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-26-2005, 04:45 AM   #9
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

*It's also interesting that some college, no degree is almost across the board lower than HS graduate only. *Juliet Schorr (sp?) writes in Affluenza that her studies suggest that each additional year of post HS education results in more consumption and spending. *But the lack of the diploma, even associate, doesn't allow access to higher income jobs.

Interesting also the stats on married vs single household. *A similar trend is noted in physical health.

Well documented that men earn significantly more than women in a given field, pay grade etc, but net assets don't seem to vary too much.

Wonder what the numbers would look like for heterosex non-married households, and same sex male and female households.
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-26-2005, 05:01 AM   #10
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

BigMoneyJim, Thanks! it worked.
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-26-2005, 05:27 AM   #11
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

Also, what would be the West minus CA and WA?
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-26-2005, 05:40 AM   #12
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

[responding to two posts]

Quote:
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/wealt.../wlth98-1.html

I've wondered...."why is this data *tracked so explicitly?"
It's useful to determine economic trends.

You can see that race and geography are very important factors, renters save almost nothing, that college dropouts save LESS than those that graduate high school but do not go to college, married couples save more than single men and single women combined, and that younger single women save less than single men of the same age -- but older single women save more than single men of the same age. Very interesting stuff.

Quote:
"Other assets" $23,369 is the median? What are people counting there that's not in the other columns? I have a feeling people are adding in their couch and golf clubs. Or maybe they're not counting all the zeroes for the median?
Correct. They are only counting positive responses. For example, it says that <35years has a median net worth of $5,507 but the median amount of stocks owned in that age range is $6,000 -- and the median equity in rental properties is $25,000. Those numbers only work if the median does not include the 0's.
-Scott
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-26-2005, 07:05 AM   #13
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

Quote:

Many people especially home owners have a lot of money tied up in "stuff". A set of good bed sheets can cost $100. Once I looked carefully at my homeowner's insurance policy. I think at the time my house was insured for $150,000 (it isn't worth that IMO), and the contents were insured for half that or $75,000. I went running into the agent's office figuring I could get a big premium reduction by lowering that to a more reasonable figure of $10,000 or so. He said no way, if your house is worth $150,000 the crap in it is worth $75,000. This idea is completely illogical, and it serves the insurance industry by increasing premiums. Yet I think that often we do underestimate how much we have tied up in books, CDs, DVDs, musical instruments, guns, bed sheets, curtains, furniture, tools and on and on.

I don't like to think about it because it is depressing how much I have sunk into that stuff over the years.

Mikey
Mikey:
In the event of a total loss having the formula (50% of the dwelling value representing contents, it will certainly work in your favor.
The best way to save quite a bit, (especially in Calif., where the dwelling values are inflated), is to take the highest deductible you can.
If you opt for a lower deductible, use it a couple of times, the carrier will refuse to renew, and you are stuck with high risk, non-comprehensive policy.
I have paid homeowners ins. since 1964, and have never used it, and have saved literally in the thousands by accepting a higher deductible.
Regards, Jarhead
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-26-2005, 07:13 AM   #14
 
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

It so happened that I had just looked at our homeowners policy. Our personal property limit is
$64,243, several times the value of all personal property we own, including vehicles, so I guess that is enough . We could go with a larger deductible I suppose. Ours is $1,000. However the total annual
premium is only $258. I doubt we would save much.

JG
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-26-2005, 04:13 PM   #15
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

IDunno - *Good observations....I get that piece...I guess what I wonder is...once the population is "described"...what is the "prescription"....more importantly...for what "ill"... 8)

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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-27-2005, 05:57 PM   #16
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

We talked about this data several times before, and I gave it a pretty thorough going over.

My recollection for those who want the readers digest version is its hooey. I dont know why they want the hooey, but hooey it is.

The sample size was too small. It relied on a small group of people that if any member stopped participating they werent replaced, so the sample group dwindles. The sample group was voluntary, which creates all sorts of problems. It also depended on the individuals/families reporting their net worth. Who are probably full of crap.
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 01-30-2005, 07:58 AM   #17
 
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

Quote:
Woohoo! I'm above average in all or nearly all of my demographic categories.

I think virtually everybody on this board is beating the numbers. Now I know why my colleagues can "afford" the latest BMW and buy a 4000 sqft home (they just don't really own anything of it). These numbers were very scary. Low, low, low. If you were a renter, your net worth would be less than 2K.

I don't know what most people in this country think who will take care of them when they are old.
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 07-12-2005, 04:30 PM   #18
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

Quote:
Originally Posted by ()
The sample size was too small. It relied on a small group of people that if any member stopped participating they werent replaced, so the sample group dwindles. The sample group was voluntary, which creates all sorts of problems. It also depended on the individuals/families reporting their net worth. Who are probably full of crap.
How can the sample be too small, since the data was collected from a SENSUS (and not a survey)?
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 07-13-2005, 06:44 PM   #19
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky

I don't know what most people in this country think who will take care of them when they are old.
They think their kids will take care of them. My fiance and I are not going to have children, and if people find out, one of the most popular responses is "But who will take care of you when you're old?" That must explain a part of that overpopulation problem that was brought up in another thread.
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth
Old 07-13-2005, 09:25 PM   #20
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Re: U.S. Census Bureau Data On Net Worth

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Originally Posted by Sillysal
They think their kids will take care of them.* My fiance and I are not going to have children, and if people find out, one of the most popular responses is "But who will take care of you when you're old?"* That must explain a part of that overpopulation problem that was brought up in another thread.
They are not necessarily talking about financial care. It is a big help for older people to have someone looking out for them, even if they are dead rich.


ha
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