Interesting stats on retirement

Here’s one number that seems low…“Of the 47.8 million Americans ages 65 and older, the average income is only $38,515 dollars, according to the U.S. Census, and their average net worth is $170,516.”

$38,515 a year is just over $3,000 a month, after expenses you have to pay (insurance, property taxes or rent, utilities, basic food and household stuff, etc) there’s not a lot left for doing other things.

Many of these people may also have no mortgage or car payments.
And they may have other means of money coming in that doesn’t necessarily count as “income”.

That’s actually better than I’d have guessed. Americans aren’t savers.

True, but the net worth seems very low for someone over age 60, I’m assuming that includes their home.

My girlfriend makes 250k+ but her 401k had $2000 when she met me (not a typo). That’s changed in the last year but she’s 42 and playing catch up for the next 20 years. She likes nice stuff and resigned herself to working until she’s 70.

Remember, a lot of people have negative or zero net worth. And many never own their own home. A good portion that do have mortgages, even into retirement. I’m 52, and just paid mine off a few months ago.

I was well into my 20s when I heard the stats that a majority of Americans own their homes. Before then, I’d have guessed that it was much lower. My parents never owned their home until I was in high school and that only came about after my grandmother’s death and the opportunity to buy out my dad’s brothers.

If she loves her work, maybe that’s fine. I like my work, but don’t want to do it forever. I have other things I could do with my time.

Making $3,000 a month you’d have to be debt free. Owning a home outright you still have homeowners insurance, property taxes, utilities, upkeep and maintenance. Renters also have rent and utilities which can be expensive depending where you are. Where I’m at a decent middle of the road 2 bedroom apartment is $1,200 a month and the nicer ones are over $1,500.

Making $250k a year she should be able to max it out which is over $18,000 a year. If she starts now she’ll be fine.

Her new and current job is high stress, cannot see her handling the stress at 60. She accidentally fell into a great situation, her company will likely be sold to a VC and the payout could be in the millions. She might have a great retirement completely by accident.

IMO owning a home is the easiest way for a family with an average income to build wealth and pass it on to the next generation.

It probably is, for most people.

My brother’s wife was CEO of several start ups funded by venture capital, they made their money when the company got bought out by a corporation or they’d go public. She did very well.

Not sure I’d say that alone would be good enough but she is maxing out now and hopefully will keep it up if it doesn’t work out between us. I also advised her to buy 50k in an oil etf that is up 45%…she thinks I’m a genius but really it’s watching cnbc and luck.

Putting over $18,000 a year into a retirement account even with out a company match for the next 20 years and she’ll be fine.

I guess but I hate that she started so late.

She didn’t even know about her equity stake when hired, thought it was .005% of the company. I asked her to contact HR about it and turns out it’s 1%. She’s on track for VP in 3 years and if she makes it her equity goes to 3.5%. That alone makes her marriage material…lol!

Years ago a lot of Blue Collar workers lived better after they retired than when they worked because they had paid off their mortgage long before they retired, had saved all of their lives, and no longer had children to support. Now there are many professionals who earned very high salaries for decades but can’t afford to retire because they kept refinancing the mortgage on their home and always lived above their means.

CH used to talk about how both Texas and Canada limit cash out refinances. That should minimize some of this problem.

1 Like

All my friends were from blue collar families and their parents all owned their homes, saved, drove cars for 10 years, lived within their means and did so comfortably. My wife’s parents are off the boat Poles that paid off their house in 7 years working factory jobs and have always been serious savers, my father in law would buy a new Oldsmobile or Buick for cash and drive it for 10 years. That car would become the “work” car and he’d buy a new Buick or Olds for cash for the Sunday driver. Now many people want everything now and don’t care about their future.


I agree, but if a person would rather have a new boat, new car every few years, take vacations they can’t afford and buy new shinny things to keep up with the neighbors than a paid off home or secure future that’s their decision, it’s their money. Those are the same people who will complain that life’s unfair, whine about inequality and that CEO’s make too much.