Financial Reality Check

We’re supposed to be in a booming economy, but an awful lot of folks seem to be getting left behind…

The median family has about $3,800 in the bank, do not have a retirement account, has a home worth $160,000 with a mortgage of $95,000. No mutual funds, stocks or bonds populate their investment portfolios. They make (jointly) $43,000 and struggle to pay off their $2,200 in credit card debt. That means 50% of Americans are in worse shape than the above. And… 67% of the people aged 50-64 saved less than $10,000 last year. Over 40% saved less than $1,000. –Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances, via John Mauldin

And left in the dark — by government stats on inflation, GDP and debt biased upward over the last 40 years. If the CPI was still calculated the way it was when Jimmy Carter took office, Social Security payments would be 70% higher that they are now.

Add spiraling healthcare costs and you get a really ugly retirement picture. Clearly something’s gotta give. Maybe a lot of us are going to have to give a lot more attention to health, personal resourcefulness, income — and community approaches to basic human needs.