Last week the Federal Reserve published a study that made the news: between 2007 and 2010, Americans experienced a 39% decline in median net worth and an 8% decline in median income. The report is one of a series going back to at least 1989, but the new report shows an unprecedented decline in economic well-being.
Although the data are dismal, there is a lesson for Americans willing to fight: it’s time to return to the working and saving habits of American mythology where strong families work together toward common goals. Families will want to pull together into larger, more integrated economic units to help those affected recover and move forward.
As multigenerational families grow, more people are dealing with the difficult task of incorporating a new member into an existing household. There are important generic differences between needy parents joining families of their children, and young adults returning home. Also, each case will have a unique family history. Still, it seems possible to build a framework that will help families chart successful futures.