Wednesday, January 10, 2018

If You Are Under 35, Here is How Your Peers Are Really Doing

Brianna McGurran writes at Market Watch:

It seems like I’m falling behind my friends financially. They take nicer vacations and drive more expensive cars than mine. How am I really doing compared with others my age?

It happens every morning, from Wichita to Washington: We wake up feeling good. We pick up our phones and scroll through Instagram.

We guess at the carat weight of a college friend’s engagement ring and marvel at a cousin’s shiny new truck. We’re lifted into tornadoes of jealousy over photos of a friend’s puppy. We puzzle over how they afford it.

But this social media highlight reel leaves a lot out.

“You don’t find people posting about missing a rent payment,” says Doug Amis, a certified financial planner and president at Cardinal Retirement Planning, Inc. in Cary, North Carolina.

If you’re under 35, here’s how your peers are really doing, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances:

The median income for families with a head of household under 35 was $40,500 in 2016. Nearly half of families under 35 had credit card balances, with median debt of $1,400 per family. About 42% of families under 35 had retirement accounts, and their median value was $12,300.

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