As a point of reference, I’d like to say that I am very pleased with our financial advisor. I suffer from the same fears about someone handling our money, but she is very transparent, explains her suggestions and their risks/benefits. She continues to prove her worth. I have retired early with confidence because of her analysis.
To clarify, one owner-occupied home may in fact have multiple individuals paying into the mortgage, usually a spouse and/or a (non-resident or resident) parent. So you’re correct: that’s not 63.7% of individuals Americans owning homes, that’s 63.7% of America’s housing stock being owned by one or more individuals. The larger the square footage of the home, the more likely there are multiple occupants, and the more likely that some of those additional occupants are contributing to the equity (it being increasingly difficult for a one-income household to afford to own a home).
[it’s also worth noting that all this home ownership comes at the expense of significant tax revenues due to the fairly unique American mortgage tax credit]
And that figure, in the context of growing inequality, means that there are a lot more people with a lot less that 50%.
Which brings us to:
So, assuming a modest $200k house with two residents in their mid to late 30s paying into the mortgage who’ve hit a total 30% equity, that’s $30k in a very non-liquid but (over the long term, we hope) appreciating asset for each of them. Not bad, but individually and as a household they’re a long way from each having $1-million in assets with the home as the primary one. Unless they’re lucky enough to live in the next Silicon Valley, but that opens up a whole other discussion.
Some of the old ones do. It has become totally unaffordable for the younger generations. Most of them will never own a home. I’m Gen-X and could hypothetically buy a house with my relatively high income, but it seems unlikely to happen with rent, utility, car, and funeral bills eating so much. Perhaps if I someday get to retire then I’ll be able to buy a run-down cabin in the rural midwest, but that won’t make me a millionaire.
Translated vs. cost of living / purchasing power parity? $2K would barely scrape by a single month of rent and bills here if it even did. Where people are living on that for a year, their conditions must be very different.
I did not know that. Would’ve come in handy when I cashed out 3 of my old 401k’s. Although I definitely needed the money at the time to pay rent and medical costs (being between jobs) if I’d known there was a way I could’ve kept some of it in but under my control instead of former employers’ control, I would’ve.
People frequently say that high school should teach things like how to budget and do taxes and so forth and I generally disagree - it’s basic arithmetic and following the instructions on the forms, both of which are taught. But the weird bureaucracy bits like that certainly could use a mention. Schools kind of teach bureaucracy by example, but their own bureaucracy is not the same as the ones that you face in reality.
I strongly doubt that. Most people don’t own any real estate or valuable artwork/fine jewelry/collectibles. They don’t have investment accounts other than maybe a 401k. The market value of their vehicles is more like that of a stale pizza than a classic vintage ferrari. Life insurance doesn’t matter since they’d have to be dead to cash in on it. The amount in their checking and savings is barely enough to get them through the next month, maybe two if they’re lucky. And a lot of them are in debt. Most people aren’t millionaires.
None of that should even be necessary for an ordinary person. For an institutional investor or someone who has inherited millions or won the lottery, maybe it makes sense. But for the average joe - a janitor, trash collector, librarian, teacher, barista, artifiicial intelligence researcher, rocket scientist, heart surgeon, etc. - that should not be necessary.
That says nothing about the percentage of people that own their homes. Which I would guarantee is way way lower than the percentage of homes owned by the people that live in them. It’s an irrelevant and misleadingly-named statistic. It may serve to illustrate how many homes are rented vs occupied by the owners, but has nothing to do with actual home ownership in the sense of how many people own their homes.
Yes, even adjusting for cost of living, the US still ranks near the very top. Everyone obviously worries about their own situations and thinks that it is tough and wants to have more wealth so that they can do less work, spend more quality time with family, dabble in their hobbies, etc. But the bottom 5% of Americans are richer than 68% of the rest of the World’s inhabitants.
In terms of average disposable income after taxes and cost of living, the US ranks 13th in the world behind: Switzerland, Luxembourg, Zambia, Jersey, Bermuda, Norway, Monaco, Qatar, Gibraltar, Australia, Cayman Islands, and Denmark.
The average Pakistani has $239/mo in disposable income. The average Cuban has $25. There are hundreds of countries in the world (some of them with large populations) whose people are living in worse conditions than you could on the street in America.
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