How To Save Your Family From the U.S. Decline

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.

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The Oldest Generation

All of us living in the last half can benefit from a portrait of the oldest among us. We can’t foresee an individual life, but we can guide ourselves more clearly if we know some averages or trends that describe our oldest brothers and sisters.

In November, 2011, the Census Bureau published a new report entitled: “90+ in the United States: 2006-2008,” in which it characterizes this oldest segment of the U.S. population. (PDF here)

The generation 90 and over is small. There were about 1.8 million (mm) people 90 and over during 2006-2008, which was about 0.6% of the total US population. About 1.55mm (88%) are white. Women far outnumber men: there are about 1.3mm women, and about 0.46mm men—almost a 3 to 1 ratio.

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