Friday, October 27, 2006

No Fiscal Fall-Back Position for Younger Americans

An AICPA survey of the investment habits of 25 to 34 year olds indicate that many in this age group of 40 million Americans have made little progress toward developing a nest egg for the future. During the past twenty years, the proportion of Americans with some form of interest-bearing financial investment has dropped from over 60% to 55% (and below 50% with a bank). More alarmingly, median net worth dropped from about $6,800 in 1985 to about $3,750 (about one and one-half month's gross pay for many entry level professional jobs) in 2004. Other findings showed a rise in unsecured debt (now at median greater than net worth) and that the Eastern South Central U.S. (Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi--where I live now) had the worst performance on investments and net worth.

There is little doubt that the results of this survey support the efforts of the AICPA's Financial Literacy campaign, Junior Achievement and other programs designed to improve the financial savvy of younger Americans. Perhaps Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace (oops, temporarily forgot that church and state thing again :( ), Consumerism Commentary, Free Money Finance and similar guides to fiscal wisdom should be incorporated into more high school and college curricula.


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