Here's a piece from CNN that details where Americans keep their wealth (what there is of it -- the median net worth is $69k). The summary:
The composition of that wealth has changed over time. Back when Ronald Reagan was president, home equity made up nearly half of young adults' net worth, while interest-earning accounts, like those at a bank, accounted for a quarter of senior citizens' wealth.
Those figures are very different today, with retirement account assets playing a larger role in the portfolio of Americans of all ages. This comes as folks become ever more dependent on 401(k) accounts -- which companies started offering in the early 1980s -- to see them through their Golden Years as traditional pensions dwindle.
Here's how my net worth breaks down:
- Retirement investments (401k and IRAs): 41%
- Real Estate: 22%
- Non-retirement investments: 20%
- Cash and cash equivalents: 15%
- College savings: 7%
- Debt: -6%
And a few notes:
- Retirement investments - Includes my current 401k plus other 401ks that my wife and I have rolled over to IRAs.
- Real Estate - Includes value of our home as well as investment properties.
- Non-retirement accounts -- Our investment accounts at Vanguard, much of which has funded my real estate investing.
- Cash and cash equivalents - Includes amounts in checking accounts, savings accounts, and CDs (emergency fund money) as well as cash on the sidelines in preparation for future real estate purchases.
- College savings -- 529s and Coverdell accounts.
- Debt - I don't have any official debt. I paid off my mortgage 15 years ago and pay cash for my cars. But I have created a liability line in Quicken (where I track my net worth) for future obligations I know are coming: college expenses for the kids, tax payments, and giving (yes, I purposefully create a "liability" for giving commitments I have made in advance.)
So I guess I fit the mold of having more money in retirement accounts and less in real estate (compared to past years). That said, I see the real estate portion growing a bit more -- maybe to 30% or so.
What's your net worth breakdown look like?