Monday, October 31, 2011

The Second Generation

Nearly one-fourth of the American population is first- or second-generation, according to the Census Bureau's latest detailed tables on the foreign born. Among all U.S. residents, 12 percent (38 million) are first-generation, meaning they were born in another country. Another 11 percent (34 million) are second-generation. They were born in the United States, but one or both of their parents is foreign-born.

Source: Census Bureau, Foreign Born

A Real Horror Story

Every year, many thousands of people are murdered in the United States--12,996 in 2010, according to the FBI. The murder weapons, ranked by frequency of use...

Firearm: 8,775
Knife: 1,704
Hands, feet: 745
Blunt object: 540
Strangulation: 122
Asphyxiation: 98
Fire: 74
Narcotics: 39
Poison: 11
Explosives: 4
Other: 884

Source: Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Neighborhood

Percent of parents with children under age 18 who describe their neighborhood as a place where...

People help each other: 71%
People watch each other's children: 73%
There are people I can count on: 76%
Adults nearby would help children outside the house if needed: 78%
There are safe places for children to play: 81%
There are people who might be a bad influence: 45%
Children are kept inside the house because of danger: 20%

Source: Census Bureau, A Child's Day: 2009

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Nation of Adjuncts

Percentage of instructional faculty in degree-granting post-secondary institutions (i.e. college professors) who are employed full-time...

2009: 51%
1971: 77%

Source: College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Story Unfolds

Slowly, very slowly, the story of the Great Recession is beginning to unfold. It is happening slowly because it takes years for demographic statistics to reflect economic trauma. Think about it. First there is the event, then the demographic reaction, which is followed by data collection, and finally the analysis. We have served our time now, and the stories are beginning to be told. Today's New York Times reports (see Economy Alters How Americans Are Moving) on an analysis of migration data by the Carsey Institute of the University of New Hampshire. The research shows "drastic" change in Americans' migration patterns since the Great Recession, with sharply fewer people moving to the Sunbelt. Many more stories about the profound changes wrought by the Great Recession will follow in the years ahead.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Will Spending Cuts Create Jobs?

Percent who think cutting government spending will significantly increase jobs in the United States, by generation...

Millennials (18-34): 37%
Gen X (35-46): 43%
Boomers (47-65): 46%
Matures (66-plus): 52%

Source: Harris Interactive, Two-thirds of Americans Rate Job Market in Their Region as Bad

Gun Ownership

Among all adults, 47 percent report having a gun in their home or on their property, up from 41 percent a year earlier. Here are the numbers by political party identification...

Republicans: 55%
Democrats: 40%

Source: Gallup, Self-Reported Gun Ownership in U.S. Is Highest Since 1993

Get County Data

The Census Bureau's USA Counties web site has been updated with information from the 2010 census, the 2007 Survey of Business Owners, and County Business Patterns. For county-level data, this is as good as it gets. Select a state, select a county, choose your table--anything from a general population profile to building permits (for many counties, by single year from 1980 through 2010) to adjusted gross income, dividends, and interest on tax returns. This is an amazing resource for those who need local area economic and demographic statistics.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Report on Income Inequality

For an analysis of household income inequality in the United States, see the Census Bureau's new report U.S. Neighborhood Income Inequality in the 2005-2009 Period. Based on American Community Survey data, the analysis drills down from the national and state level to metropolitan areas, places, and even census tracts (essentially, neighborhoods) to determine the location and characteristics of areas where household incomes are least and most equal.

By state, income inequality is greatest in the District of Columbia, New York, and Connecticut. By large metropolitan area, it is greatest in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. For large places (i.e. cities), it is greatest in Atlanta, New Orleans, and the city of Washington in the District of Columbia. By census tract, it is greatest in tract 17, Hamilton County, Ohio--which is downtown Cincinnati.

Long-Term Care: How Much Does It Cost?

Many baby boomers are deciding now whether to buy long-term care insurance. For those trying to make a decision, it might help to know the cost of different types of long-term care. To that end, the MetLife Mature Market Institute collects information on the cost of long-term care and updates the information annually for the nation, states, and large metropolitan areas. In 2011, the annual average cost of long-term care nationally looks like this...

Nursing home, private room: $87,235
Nursing home, semi-private room: $78,110
Assisted living community: $41,724
Home care, home health aide: $21,840
Home care, homemaker: $19,760
Adult day services: $18,200

Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute, 2011 Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trick or Treat?

Rank of Halloween among Americans' favorite holidays: 3.

Source: Harris Interactive

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Percent of Americans who participated in the 10 most popular leisure activities in the past 12 months...

Dining out: 49%
Entertaining at home: 38%
Reading books: 38%
Barbecuing: 35%
Going to the beach: 26%
Baking: 25%
Cooking for fun: 22%
Playing cards: 20%
Going to bars/nightclubs: 19%
Playing board games: 17%

Source: Census Bureau, (the now discontinued) Statistical Abstract, 2010 data from GfK MediaMark Research

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Great Restructuring

In 2010, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond published a report entitled, "The Rise in Long-Term Unemployment: Potential Causes and Implications." Nowhere in the report did the words computer, hardware, software, or technology appear, say Eric Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in their new ebook, The Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy.

The authors, MIT researchers, find this omission shocking because they argue that computers, hardware, software, and technology are the explanation for our current economic woes. The pace of technological change, they say, is "so rapid and so surprising that many present-day organizations, institutions, policies, and mindsets are not keeping up."

This book is a must read for anyone attempting to decipher socioeconomic trends. "We wrote this book because we believe that digital technologies are one of the most important driving forces in the economy today...The root of our problems is not that we're in a Great Recession, or a Great Stagnation, but rather that we are in the early throes of a Great Restructuring."

Alienating Hispanic Voters

"Comments on Immigration Alienate Some Hispanics," was the headline of a recent New York Times article. The story examined whether Republican presidential candidates were hurting their chances with Hispanic voters by talking tough about illegal immigration. Ya think?

"Some party officials see a yellow light signaling danger in battleground states with large Hispanic populations," the article noted. More like a red light, and one that has been flashing for a long time. The 56 percent majority of Hispanics identify themselves as Democrats. Only 17 percent are Republican, according to the General Social Survey. The best Republican presidential candidates can hope for is that Hispanics won't vote at all--and they might get their wish. In 2008, only 49.9 percent of Hispanic citizens voted.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Football Fans

Percentage of Americans who watch NFL football...

All: 64%
Male: 73%
Female: 55%

Source: Harris Interactive, America's Sport--A Majority of Americans Watch NFL Football

Saturday, October 22, 2011

RIP Statistical Abstract

You probably heard that the Statistical Abstract was threatened by budget cuts. Now those threats have become reality. An announcement has appeared (in bold, red typeface) on the Statistical Abstract's web page reporting its demise--the termination of data collection for the Statistical Compendia Program, which includes the Statistical Abstract (published since 1878), the State and Metropolitan Area Data Book, and the County and City Data Book. The announcement reads, in part...
"The U.S. Census Bureau is terminating the collection of data for the Statistical Compendia program effective October 1, 2011...The decision to propose the elimination of this program was not made lightly." 
For those who want access to the most current data presented in the Statistical Abstract's more than 1,400 tables, the Census Bureau refers users to the organizations cited in the source notes for each table.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Earnings Slip

In the third quarter of 2011, median weekly earnings of the nation's full-time wage and salary workers climbed to $753, up 1.8 percent from a year earlier. But the Consumer Price Index rose by a larger 3.8 percent during the same time period. Full-time workers are losing ground to inflation.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Usual Weekly Earnings Summary, Third Quarter 2011

A Generational Rant

Hilarious, and too true: Generation X Doesn't Want To Hear It.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Public Assistance Paradox

Most of the states in which households are least likely to receive public assistance are also the states that rank among the poorest in the nation, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, and South Carolina. In these states, the percentage of households receiving public assistance ranges from 1.6 to 1.9 percent--well below the 2.9 percent for the nation as a whole.

Note: Public assistance is defined as cash payments to the poor and does not include Food Stamps, Medicaid, subsidized housing, or other in-kind benefits.
Source: Census Bureau, Public Assistance Receipt in the Past 12 Months for Households: 2009 and 2010

One in Ten On Antidepressants

More than one in ten Americans aged 12 or older (10.8 percent) take an antidepressant medication, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. In the 2005-08 time period, antidepressants were the third most commonly prescribed drug. The middle-aged are most likely to be on antidepressants, with 16 percent of people aged 40 to 59 prescribed the drugs. The figure peaks at 23 percent among women in the age group.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Antidepressant Use in Persons Aged 12 and Over: United States, 2005-2008

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What Does It Take to Be Middle Class?

A lot more than poverty-level income, which the Census Bureau defines as an annual income of $11,344 for one person and $22,113 for a family of four with two children.

For one worker who lives alone, a middle-class lifestyle requires an annual income of at least $30,012 (or earnings of $14.21 per hour), according to the Basic Economic Security Tables (BEST) Index--and that's only if your job provides employment-based health insurance and a retirement plan. If you are a family of four with two workers and two children, you need to earn at least $67,920 ($16.08/hour per worker), assuming employment-based benefits. These estimates are bare bones and do not include eating out, vacations, or other discretionary spending. They do include modest savings toward a rainy day fund and retirement, but no savings for homeownership or college. Among full-time workers in 2010, one-fourth of men and one-third of women earned less than $30,000 per year.

The BEST estimates of what it takes to be middle class were produced in a joint effort by Wider Opportunities for Women and the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis. They were created to help policymakers and workers evaluate economic security in the United States. The BEST estimates show how much is needed for economic security for 400 family types, from single to double earners with up to six children. The estimates are calculated for workers with or without employer-provided health insurance and retirement benefits.

 Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the BEST estimates is the requirement that savings are necessary for economic stability. Emergency and retirement saving, notes the report, "promotes lifelong and intergenerational economic security." A single worker needs to save $75 per month for emergencies. A family of four with two workers and two children needs to save $170 per month to help them weather hard times. To download the study, visit The Basic Economic Security Tables Initiative on the Wider Opportunities for Women web site.

Few Workers Are Healthy

Percentage of American workers who are of normal weight and have no chronic conditions: 14%.

Source: Gallup, Unhealthy U.S. Workers' Absenteeism Costs $153 Billion

Demographic Trends: A History

Are you yearning for beautiful and insightful graphic representations of long-term demographic trends in the United States? If so, then is the site for you. Demographic Chartbook was created by Campbell Gibson, who has a resume packed with three decades of work for the Census Bureau--and it shows. His visualizations of census data from 1790 through 2000 give you an instant feel for trends in demographic topics ranging  from age distributions to metropolitan populations, households, homeownership, fertility rates, educational attainment, language, and more. An Appendix provides data by state. Examine the Chartbook online or, after registering, download individual chapters or the entire labor of love onto your computer. This is a great resource for historians and educators.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Adults Crowding Out Teens in Labor Force

What explains the sharp drop in employment rates among high school students over the past quarter century--a drop of nearly 20 percentage points? In a comprehensive analysis of the causes, Federal Reserve Board researcher Christopher L. Smith finds that some teens are too busy with extracurricular and college prep activities to have jobs. But the more important reason, according to his research, is that potential teen workers are being crowded out by adults competing for the same jobs:
"Much of the crowd-out from adults is likely due to polarization of the adult labor market, driven by the declining costs of computerization and automation which have displaced some less-educated adult workers into service sector jobs that teens tend to do."
Source: Federal Reserve Board Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Christopher L. Smith, "Polarization, immigration, education: What's behind the dramatic decline in youth employment?"

Only One Bathroom?

There is not much residential construction going on out there, and what is being built fails to address the new forces shaping the housing market. Example: Among the 125,000 new multifamily rental units completed in 2010, the 54 percent majority had only one bathroom. These units are hitting the market at a time when fewer people are living alone and more young couples who could afford to buy a house are choosing to rent. One bathroom isn't enough.

Source: Census Bureau, Characteristics of New Housing

Monday, October 17, 2011

How Much Do Bank Robbers Get?

Average property loss caused by selected crimes...

Bank robbery: $4,410
Convenience store robbery: $782
Residential burglary: $2,137
Pocket picking: $526
Purse snatching: $400
Shoplifting: $174

Source: Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics

Social Security: Growing Importance

When pre-retirees (full-time workers aged 56 to 65) are asked which one financial product or service is more important to them now than it was five years ago, the 45 percent plurality says Social Security. This is up from 33 percent of the age group who said Social Security was growing in importance when asked the same question in 2008.

Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute, The 2011 MetLife Retirement Income IQ

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Baby Bust? Don't Panic

The ongoing decline in births has made headlines in the past few days, following the release of a Pew Research Center analysis. I reported on the trend months ago (see this post).

Here are the facts: The number of births in the United States fell to 4,007,000 in 2010, 7 percent below the all-time high of 4,316,233 births in 2007. Not to worry, however. This is the smallest number of births only since...1999. Yes, that's right. In the overall scheme of things, we're still pretty much in the normal see-saw range. Compare this decline with the one that occurred from the peak of the baby boom (4.3 million births in 1957) to the trough of the baby bust (3.1 million births in 1973), a 27 percent drop.

Thanks to the Great Recession, we are likely in the first years of baby bust. But we have a long way to go before this bust is as deep as the one that produced Generation X.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

More than 2 Million in Prison

The nation's prisons house almost as many Americans as its college dorms. The prison population numbered 2.3 million in 2010, only slightly below the 2.5 million who live in college housing.

Source: Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey

Friday, October 14, 2011

Surprisingly Few Save for Retirement

An analysis of retirement savings behavior by the Employee Benefit Research Institute finds surprisingly few workers participating in 401(k)s or IRAs. Only 33 percent of workers aged 21 to 64 participate in a 401(k)-type retirement plan. An even smaller 21 percent own an IRA.

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, Ownership of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)-Type Plans, 1996-2009

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Apple Fans

Forty-two percent of the public owns an Apple device such as an iPhone, iPad, or iPod, according to Pew Research Center. Among them, 21 percent said they followed the news of Steve Jobs death more closely than any other news story during the week of October 6-9. Only 9 percent of those who do not own an Apple device followed the news of Jobs death most closely.

Americans Struggling More than Chinese

Percentage responding "yes" to the question, "Have there been times in the past 12 months when you did not have enough money to provide food that you or your family needed?"...

Chinese: 6%
Americans: 19%

Source: Gallup, Chinese Struggling Less than Americans to Afford Basics

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Teenagers Less Likely to Have Sex

The percentage of never-married teenage boys aged 15 to 19 who have ever had sexual intercourse fell sharply--from 60 to 42 percent between 1988 and the 2006-10 time period. Among girls, the figure fell from 51 to 43 percent. 

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Teenagers in the United States: Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Childbearing, 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth

Border Security and the "Cage" Effect

For a comprehensive overview of the number of undocumented aliens in the United States over the past quarter century, see the new Congressional Research Service report: Unauthorized Aliens Residing in the United States: Estimates Since 1986. The unauthorized alien population has climbed sharply over the years, from 3.2 million in 1986 to 11.2 million in 2010. One possible reason for the large increase, according to the report:
"Some researchers also suggest that the increased size of the unauthorized resident population during the late 1990s and early 2000s is an inadvertent consequence of border enforcement and immigration control policies. They posit that strengthened border security has curbed the fluid movement of seasonal workers. This interpretation, generally referred to as a caging effect, argues that these policies have raised the stakes in crossing the border illegally and created an incentive for those who succeed in entering the United States to stay."

First Comes...Baby?

Average age of women having their first baby: 25.1 years.
Average age of women marrying for the first time: 26.1 years.

Source: Census Bureau and National Center for Health Statistics

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Only One in Three Eats Well

Percentage of Americans who rate the healthfulness of their diet as excellent or very good: 32%.

Source: USDA Economic Research Service, How Americans Rate Their Diet Quality: an Increasingly Realistic Perspective

Arson Statistics

In 2010, there were 482,000 structure fires in the United States. Among them, 27,500 were intentionally set (arson). The number of intentionally-set structure fires in 2010 was far below the all-time high of 92,000 in 1980.

Source: Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Household Income Index

All of a sudden, everyone is paying attention to household income trends. It all started with the release of the 2010 income statistics from the Current Population Survey, which revealed steep declines in the incomes of householders under age 55. Then the 2010 American Community Survey results were released, which confirmed those findings. Now a new income series is being introduced by Sentier Research (a venture run by former Census Bureau officials), which will track household income trends on a monthly basis. This is a welcome addition to the woefully inadequate macroeconomic statistics on which most business forecasters depend.

Sentier has developed a Household Income Index to track monthly changes in real median household income, based on data from the Current Population Survey. The starting point for the index is January 2000, with median household income in that month set at 100.0.  In June 2011, the index value stood at a much lower 89.4.

Sentier reports that median household income has fallen more during the "recovery" than it did during the Great Recession itself. From December 2007 to June 2009, median household income fell 3.2 percent, after adjusting for inflation. Since then, it has fallen by an additional 6.7 percent (to $49,909 in June 2011). Overall, median household income has fallen 9.8 percent since December 2007, after adjusting for inflation--a significant reduction in the American standard of living, says Sentier researchers. While some groups have been hurt more than others, almost everyone has taken a hit. Householders aged 65 or older are the only ones who have remained relatively unscathed.

Source: Sentier Research, Household Income Trends During the Recession and Economic Recovery ($20)

State Extremes: Household Income

According to the American Community Survey, median household income was $50,046 in 2010. Incomes vary greatly by state, however. Maryland has the highest median household income, at $68,854 in 2010. Mississippi has the lowest median household income, just $36,851. The difference is more than $32,000.

Source: 2010 American Community Survey

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Drinking and Driving

Percentage of all motor vehicle fatalities that involve at least one alcohol-impaired driver: 33%.

Source: CDC, Vital Signs: Alcohol-Impaired Driving among Adults--United States, 2010

Saturday, October 08, 2011

State Extremes: Internet Use

Twenty percent of households in the United States do not use the Internet. The percentage of households that do not use the Internet ranges from a high of 29 percent in Arkansas to a low of 10 percent in Utah. 

Source: Census Bureau, 2012 Statistical Abstract

Friday, October 07, 2011

Who's Not Online?

Nearly 24 million households in the United States--one in five--do not use the Internet. Among them, the 58 percent majority say they do not need the Internet, another 18 percent say it is too expensive, and 16 percent say their computer is inadequate.  

Perhaps most telling, 66 percent of these householders are aged 55 or older, 64 percent are not in the labor force, and 85 percent do not have children at home.

Source: National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Internet Use 2010

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Biggest Decline in Homeownership since the Great Depression

The Census Bureau announced today that the 1.1 percentage point decline in the nation's homeownership rate between 2000 (66.2 percent) and 2010 (65.1 percent) was the largest since the 4.2 percentage point decline that occurred between 1930 and 1940--in other words, during the Great Depression. Despite the decline, the Census Bureau noted that the homeownership rate in the United States was the second highest on record, behind only the rate of 2000.

Here's the thing, however: The homeownership rate in 2010 should have been the highest on record, given the demographics. Homeownership peaks among older Americans, and the population has never been older (median age, 37.2 in 2010). The decline in the homeownership rate despite the aging of the population shows just how far we have fallen off track.

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Characteristics: 2010

Steve Jobs, Thank You

Percentage of American adults who own each device:

Desktop computer: 57%
Laptop computer: 56%
MP3 player: 44%
Smart phone: 35%
Tablet computer: 8%

Source: Pew Research Center, Gadget Ownership over Time, May 2011

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Mixed Race Population Is Mostly Kids

The median age of the 8 million mixed-race Americans was just 19.2 years, according to the 2010 American Community Survey. Most are not even out of their teens. In contrast, the median age of the U.S. population as a whole was a much older 37.2 years. For the past decade, government surveys have shown that the two-or-more races population is much younger than everyone else. What explains the gap?

Parents explain it. When responding to a census or government survey, parents are responsible for identifying the characteristics of their children under age 18. Many parents of mixed-race children identify them as being of more than one race. When those children become adults, many opt for a single race identity.

The Rental Churn

Percentage of renters who moved into their home in 2008 or later: 56%.

Source: 2010 American Community Survey

Fewer Are Working Multiple Jobs

The percentage of employed workers who have two or more jobs fell to 4.9 percent in 2010, down from an all-time high of 6.2 percent in 1996. Workers in South Dakota are most likely to have multiple jobs, with 10.3 percent of the state's employed reporting two or more jobs in 2010.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Multiple Jobholding in States in 2010, Monthly Labor Review, September 2011

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The "Coveted" Demographic

With the new television season underway, we are being subjected yet again to copy-and-paste reporting about which shows are drawing the biggest ratings from the "coveted 18-to-49 demographic."

My question is, why coveted? The income and spending statistics show 18-to-49-year-olds not only making and spending less money than they did before the Great Recession, but making and spending less money than they did a full decade ago. Meanwhile, the spurned 50-and-older demographic is making more, spending more, and growing like gangbusters. Go figure.

Two New Census Reports

The Census Bureau has released two new 2010 Census Briefs:

The Black Population: 2010
The White Population: 2010

Each report examines the size and growth of the population since 2000, including those who identify themselves as the race alone and those who identify themselves as the race in combination with other races. Some highlights...

Blacks: The black alone or in combination population numbered 42 million in 2010 and accounts for 14 percent of the U.S. population. The number of people who identify themselves as black and white more than doubled between 2000 and 2010 (as reported in Demo Memo blog in March, see The Obama Effect on Racial Identification).

Whites: The white alone or in combination population numbered 231 million in 2010, a count that includes 27 million white Hispanics--who may be of any race. The white population also includes Arabs, Palestinians, and North Africans. The non-Hispanic white alone population numbered 197 million in 2010 and accounts for 64 percent of the population.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Lost Jobs, Lower Wages

In January every two years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics surveys displaced workers. Findings from the January 2010 Displaced Worker Survey are analyzed in the September issue of the Monthly Labor Review. Displaced workers are those who lost or left their job during the past three years. For the January 2010 survey, they were workers displaced between January 2007 and December 2009--during the Great Recession. The Monthly Labor Review analysis focuses on the 6.9 million "long-tenured" displaced workers--those who had worked at the same job for three or more years. Some of the disturbing findings:

Only 49 percent of long-tenured displaced workers were reemployed by January 2010, the lowest level recorded by any Displaced Worker Survey, which date back to January 1984.

Fully 55 percent of reemployed long-tenured displaced workers were earning less than they had earned at the job they lost.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Characteristics of displaced workers 2007-2009: a visual essay, Monthly Labor Review, September 2011

The Year of the Cell Phone

Year in which household spending on cell phones exceeded spending on landline phones, by age of householder...

Under age 25: 2003
Aged 25 to 34: 2005
Aged 35 to 44: 2006
Aged 45 to 54: 2006
Aged 55 to 64: 2009
Aged 65-plus: Still waiting

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Surveys

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Why Is This Not Surprising?

Among the nation's metropolitan areas, median household income is highest in Washington, DC, at $84,523 in 2010.

Source: 2010 American Community Survey

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Why You Need a Rainy Day Fund

A MetLife survey of men and women aged 50 to 70 found that, within a two-year period, a substantial 35 percent had experienced an unexpected major expense. The average cost of these unpleasant surprises ranged from $6,666 for medical problems to $7,296 for family needs and $8,256 for housing issues.

Source: The MetLife Study of Women, Retirement, and the Extra-Long Life