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Banking Economic Development

Census: Wealthiest are ages 65 to 69

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By Kathy Canavan

The wealthiest people in America are  65 to 69 years old, according to U.S. Census figures.

That age group has a median net worth of $194,226, while Americans younger than 35 have a median net worth of just $6,676. The second-wealthiest group is also in the senior bracket: those 70 to 74 have a median net worth of $181,078.

If you’re in the 35-to-44 bracket, your median net worth is $35,000. Forty-five to 54? It’s $84,542. And, if you’re 55 to 64, the median net worth for your age group is $143,964.

Equity in homes, of course, rises with age. Median equity is $20,000 for those under 35, $40,000 for those 35 to 44, $70,000 for 45- to 54-year-olds, $97,000 for 55- to 64-year-olds, $130,000 for those 65 and older, $125,000 for those 65 to 69, and $130,000 for those 70 and older.

Americans over 65 have the most interest-earning assets at financial institutions, not surprisingly. Sixty-five to 69-year-olds have the largest balances in stock and mutual fund accounts with a median value of $63,500. Equity in a business or profession is a different story — those 35 to 44 years old have median equity of $10,000, which is the same amount as 55- to 64-year-olds and 65- to 69-year-olds.

The 70-to-74 age group held the largest median investment in U.S. savings bonds and IRA or KEOUGH accounts — $3,000 for savings bonds and $70,000 for IRAs or KEOGHs.

Net worth rises directly in step with education. The median net worth for those with no high school diploma is $9,800. High school graduates have median net worths of $43,945. Those with some college but no degree had net worths of $49,082. Those with degrees had median net worths of $147,148. The median net worth for those with graduate or professional degrees is $240,750.

White Americans have the highest median net worth — $110,500. Asians have the second highest at $89,339. Hispanics have a median net worth of $7,683, and black had a median net worth of $6,314.

Whites and Asians were more likely to have higher median investments in stocks and mutual fund and more equity in a business or professional office.

Asians have the highest median equity in their own homes — $120,000 vs. $85,000 for whites, $50,000 for blacks and $47,000 for Hispanics.

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