Household incomes may be on the rise, but without wealth gains, can we really call it a recovery?
September 20, 2017
Household incomes may be on the rise, but without wealth gains, can we really call it a recovery?
By Carlos Garcia, CEO/Founder of Finhabits

Last week’s U.S. Census Bureau figures give us a lot to celebrate. Median household incomes rose for the second year, to an all-time high of $59,039. But the real story isn’t what you make, it’s what you keep. And the average household has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to building wealth. During the last 17 years, stagnant wages, along with the continued shift from traditional pensions to individual savings accounts, have left American households with a median retirement account balance of just $5,000.

 

The typical Latino or African-American working-age family or individual has no savings at all in retirement accounts. And those who do have accounts have accumulated just 15 percent of the savings balance of the average white household. While it’s great news that household income is up among Latinos, and concerning news that it’s down among African-Americans, both groups still have far less wealth than whites. So let’s take the long view here: wealth, not income, is the real “temperature check” we need to be taking of our nation’s financial health.

 

 

Want to start investing?

Start here

Invest as little as $5 a week.