Sunday, March 20, 2011

Three Things I Learned Last Week

  • Americans' equity in their homes was cut in half from 2006 to 2010.  Owners' equity was $6.3 trillion at the end of 2010 and was $12.6 trillion in the first quarter of 2006.  That was a loss in value of over $6 trillion.  Homeowners' share of equity was 59.7% in 2005 but dropped to 38.5% at the end of last year.  To put that in perspective, the total US stock market is valued at about $13.5 trillion so the loss in value in homes is equal to about half of the value of all US stocks.
    • Source: Wall Street Journal and
  • 36% of workers expect to retire after age 65.  In 1991, only 11% of workers expected to retire after age 65.  It was also11% in 1996 but increased to 20% in 2001 and 25% in 2006.
    • Source: 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey, Employee Benefit Research Institute
  • The unemployment rate is approximately 9.0% nationally.  However, there are big differences based on education, ethnicity and age.  Compare best and worst unemployment rates to the average of 9.0%
    • College grad 4.3% vs. no high school diploma 13.9%
    • Asian 6.8% vs. African American 15.3%
    • Age 55+ 6.4% vs. Age 25-34 9.4%
    • Female 8.5% vs. Male 9.3%

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