Essay about Wealth and Net Worth

Submitted By mrbiggg
Words: 642
Pages: 3

The problem of income inequality and poverty is a big deal in the United States. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Most of the rich are the elderly 55 or over shown in this piece from the USA today newspaper article, “Nearly all additional wealth created in the U.S. since 1989 has gone to people 55 and older, according to Federal Reserve data. Wealth has doubled since 1989 in households headed by older Americans” (Cauchon). Most of the growing wealth as well has gone to older people at the head of the household. The opposite is that if the “household is headed by people in their 20s, 30s, or 40s they have not been able to keep up with inflation or have fallen behind since 1989” (Cauchon). And it is also shown that people between 35 and 50 have actually lost wealth rather than gained it. Some statistics from Cauchon’s article are:
Ages 55-59: Median net worth--the middle point for all households--rose 97 percent over 15 years to $249,700 in 2004, the most recent year for which data is available. Median income rose 52 percent.
Ages 35-39: Median household net worth fell 28 percent to $48,940. Median income fell 10 percent.
The baby boomer generation are about to enter the highest point of wealth in their life. The youngest in this generation is 43 and the oldest is 61 (Cauchon). They believe this to be so because their kids are leaving home and their 401k’s are getting bigger. On the other hand “Younger generations now delay the start of wealth accumulation. They postpone careers to get more education. They marry later (delaying the financial benefit of a shared household), have children later (delaying the arrival of lower-cost, kid-free days) and inherit money later (their parents live longer)” (Cauchon). This younger generation is poorer for all of these reasons. Student loans are a big reason why the younger generation is in debt. All of these reasons prove that age has a big effect on the income inequality in the United States. In this day and age it is better to be older than younger. Poverty is also effected by age because in 2012, 3.7 percent of people 18 to 64 were in poverty compared with 9.1 percent of people 65 and older, and 21.8 percent of children under 18 (Poverty in the United States). These are pretty big numbers especially for children under the age of 18. About one in three people that are severely in poverty are under the age of 17. The younger generation is more in poverty than the older because of Social Security and Medicare. Plus their retirement funds get most of them out of poverty. “An