There have been a couple of articles in the news recently about how few assets a lot of Americans have. According to the articles, a quarter of adult Americans have no retirement savings at all and 40% of Americans would have a hard time coming up with $400 for meeting an emergency. If true, both of those things are really a shame.
You’ll see a lot of hand wringing in the press and they’ll talk about people’s poor habits, or they’ll talk about people not knowing anything about finances. Parts of those might be correct for some parts of the population.
I think the bigger issue is that not enough people make enough money. They don’t have any savings and don’t have any money stashed away for emergencies because they’re living hand to mouth and they don’t make enough money.
Wages and wealth, for the bottom half of the country, have stagnated over a generation or two, since the early 1980s. It’s a long time. Too many people aren’t making enough money. What I’d say is don’t give people a hard time. Don’t blame the victim. It would be better if these pundits would come up with policy reasons, policy suggestions, or things that people can do to make more money so that they’re not in that situation. Don’t bad mouth them saying that they’re irresponsible. Most people I see do the best they can, and unfortunately, that’s not good enough a lot of the time.
My name is Mike Garry, and my company is Yardley Wealth Management. We are a fiduciary, fee-only financial planning, and wealth management firm in Newtown, Pennsylvania. (That’s in Bucks County). Our law firm is Yardley Estate Planning, LLC and is in the same place. We only do Estate Planning work and I am licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
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