The recession and its aftermath have been particularly brutal to typical American families.
According to a recent Federal Reserve report, median household net worth fell an astonishing 39% between 2007 and 2010, and real (after inflation) incomes dropped, too. It's a devastating combination that has lead to large swaths of people running out of the maneuvering room needed just to keep their heads above water.
In dollars-and-cents terms, the Fed report calculates that the average family is worth about $77,000. To put that in perspective, that's roughly the same place we were back in 1992.
But How Did My Family Do?
The Fed's numbers were so astonishing that they inspired me to look at my family's financial records from Quicken to see how we fared during those dark days from 2007 to 2010.It turns out that, like so many others, our income failed to keep up with inflation. Yet we managed to buck the other trend and actually saw a slight increase in our net worth over that time. Better yet, we managed to do that while having our third child and buying the minivan needed to cart our expanding family around.
Don't' get me wrong -- it wasn't easy, and we're incredibly fortunate to have continued to make forward progress during those troubling times. But looking back at where we are versus where we could have been given the overall economy, it was certainly worthwhile. Read more......