0
The American Dream at
$130,000?
1) Housing Costs
USA Today used a
house costing
$275,000 as its
anchor because
that was, “the
median price of a
new home.”
1) Housing Costs
The Problem
• According to the National Association of
Homebuilders, new homes account for just
8%-10% of...
1) Housing Costs
The Solution
• The median existing home price from the
timeframe USA Today used was $198,000.
• By weight...
1) Housing Costs
The Result
Total savings from previous figure= $4,439
New income “needed” for American Dream
$125,918
2) Car Costs
USA Today
assumed an SUV
was essential for
the American
Dream. According
to AAA, driving an
SUV 15,000 miles
...
2) Car Costs
The Problem
• A mid-sized sedan can easily meet the needs of a
family of four, and is far cheaper and more fu...
2) Car Costs
The Solution
According to AAA,
a mid-sized sedan
driving 10,000
miles per year
costs $7,616 per
year to own a...
2) Car Costs
The Result
Total savings from previous figure= $3,423
New income “needed” for American Dream
$122,495
3) Food Costs
USA Today, using
USDA numbers,
said a family would
spend $12,659 on
groceries. An extra
$3,662 was added
for...
3) Food Costs
The Problem
• USA Today didn’t read the USDA’s fine print.
The USDA estimates assume, “that all meals
and sn...
3) Food Costs
The Solution
• Normalized for a family of four, with two
children under the age of 18, the BLS figures
say t...
3) Food Costs
The Result
Total savings from previous figure= $6,566
New income “needed” for American Dream
$115,929
4) Education Costs
USA Today, while
not revealing its
methodology,
assumes that the
average family will
spend $4,000 on
ed...
4) Education Costs
The Problem
• According to the National Center for Education
Statistics, only 9% of the nation’s 55 mil...
4) Education Costs
The Solution
• It is difficult to correct these numbers, since
USA Today did not reveal its methods.
• ...
4) Education Costs
The Result
Total savings from previous figure= $1,000
New income “needed” for American Dream
$114,929
5) Summer Vacation Costs
USA Today, using
numbers from an
American Express
survey, say that the
average family will
spend ...
5) Summer Vacation Costs
The Problem
• Again, USA Today didn’t read the fine print.
American Express readily admits that i...
5) Summer Vacation Costs
The Solution
Money Magazine
and AAA have
conducted far more
representative
surveys.
They estimate...
5) Summer Vacation Costs
The Result
Total savings from previous figure= $2,980
New income “needed” for American Dream=$111...
6) Tax Costs
As the paper
states: “Total
federal, state, and
local taxes were
pegged at 30% for
households at this
income ...
6) Tax Costs
The Problem
• The CTJ includes ALL taxes paid, including sales
tax. By using these numbers, USA Today double
...
6) Tax Costs
The Solution
First, we would need to figure out your adjusted gross
income (AGI). The major deductions you co...
6) Tax Costs
The Solution
• Your federal income tax bill would come to $6,280.
• According to the Tax Foundation, the medi...
6) Tax Costs
The Result
Total savings from previous figure= $19,956
New income “needed” for American Dream
$91,993
7) Retirement Costs
USA Today
encouraged maxing
out 401(k) savings
at $17,500, or 15%--
which it stated was,
“in line with...
7) Retirement Costs
The Problem
• There’s actually no problem here. If you can
put away the maximum into your 401(k), the
...
7) Retirement Costs
The Solution
• Using the new income level after all of our
adjustments, you would want to put away $13...
7) Retirement Costs
The Result
Total savings from previous figure= $4,325
New income “needed” for American Dream
$87,668
Important Points to Remember
1. Assuming this new number, roughly one-third of
U.S. households could have the American
Dre...
Maximize Your
Retirement Savings
Do You Really Need $130,000 for the American Dream?
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Do You Really Need $130,000 for the American Dream?

228

Published on

USA Today would have us believe that the American Dream costs $130,000 per year. But does the math behind that assumption even hold up?

Published in: Economy & Finance
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
228
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
4
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/fooleditorial/11177180044/in/photolist-i2FYdL-i2FzgV-i2GAB6-i2FXsh-i2GA78-hsTqTA-hsSGx5-hsSH5r-hsSGMx-hsTpkL-hsToXw-hsSEP5-gCNuHh-gCPzsz-gCPxTc-gCPwwp-gCNZRt-gCNZfZ-gCNVgY-gCNUx3-gCNXee-gCNWxz-gCNSyJ-gCNkPq-gCPoSr-gCPopT-gCPnsc-gCNR1H-gCPmeF-gCNfGG-gCNx1x-gCN2vH-gCMStf-gCMWnB-gCMVZx-gCMVCF-gCMVep-gCE485-gCEBfH-gCDCPK-gCMknL-gCMjZ1-gCMTTt-gCNoSP-gCNovg-gCMSAt-gCNnHK-gCMMLE-gCMMjh-gCNmu2
  • http://www.nahb.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentID=55761

  • http://www.nahb.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentID=55764
  • http://www.nahb.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentID=55764
  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/fooleditorial/10841967504/in/photolist-i2An6T-i2AmnD-i2AFZo-i2AFd3-hyZAML-hyZ4MS-hyYPYt-hyYZAW-hyYZg7-hyYNWt-hyZuZy-hxH65Z-hxJQ76-hxH9nu-hxGXyW-hxGaSX-hw4tv3-hw4Vdd-hw5Tdi-gCA13Y-gCqk8Q-gyMASh-gyLTj7-gyMkjz/
  • http://www.nahb.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentID=55761

    http://usa.streetsblog.org/2013/02/27/for-eighth-year-in-a-row-the-average-american-drove-fewer-miles-in-2012/

  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/fooleditorial/10217045325/in/photolist-hFG1f1-hFGm6H-hFFrws-hFEaGo-hxB6pg-hxzn2p-hxzmfz-hxA8mf-hxB4nv-hxB43n-hxB3mx-hxB2Rz-hxB2zH-hxB23v-hxB1BR-hxzwvf-hw4V9q-hw4teG-hsRx3q-hsRwDQ-haVBDy-h97BQ2-h96smf-gFLoDZ-gFKfuL-gFKJaN-gFKKvx-gFKJ9e-gFKFQ7-gFKc4Y-gFKEKb-gFKEpw-gFKE41-gFKDxS-gFK9NA-gCNGUn-gCC51H-gCCxBc-gCBbZ5-gCBejz-gCBawq-gCBH8Z-gCACEJ-gz2b5A-gz22BH-gyUcVk-gyTatE-gyTAPF-gyTzeM-gyR2BT

    http://publicaffairsresources.aaa.biz/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Your-Driving-Costs-2014.pdf
  • http://www.nahb.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentID=55764
  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/fooleditorial/10216589356/in/photolist-gEcvJx-gEcv5X-gEbrAW-gCPotn-gCPTQr-gCNNzj-gCPnmH-gCPiuL-gCNMnQ-gCAnSu-gCAUCz-gCATQH-gCAktm-gCzNqN-gCAmjZ-gCzLw7-gCzKH3-gCAiAT-gCAMQX-gCAgZB-gCAHQT-gCAax9-gCzCBu-gCzBUh-gCAER6-gCzAcu-gCA6Qj-gCA5WW-gCzxKf-gCAAN6-gyZFnh-gyYp5s-gyQ1ez-gyQ8qQ-gyQ7YN-gyPvsW-gyQ73u-gyQ6F7-gyPuf5-gyPtRu-gyPtyf-gyQ53C-gyPWkc-gyPmEW-gyPu2m-gyNG5m-gyNy3D-gyM7eA-gyM6My-gyM88k
  • See bottom http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/2014/CostofFoodApr2014.pdf

    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cesmy.pdf

  • http://www.bls.gov/cex/22013/midyear/cucomp.pdf
  • http://www.nahb.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentID=55764
  • Public Domain
  • http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372

    http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/publications/Crc/crc2011.pdf

    Bottom of page 6 http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/publications/Crc/crc2011.pdf
  • http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/04/08/after-decades-of-decline-a-rise-in-stay-at-home-mothers/

    http://www.npr.org/2014/06/05/319214546/stay-at-home-dads-on-the-rise-and-many-of-them-are-poor

    http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p20-570.pdf
  • http://www.nahb.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentID=55764
  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/fooleditorial/10824409883/in/photolist-hwfJeM-hwfJ4M-hwemby-hweNgY-hweNfq-hwfHJi-hwekXN-hwe3RH-hwfHyP-hwekMN-hwe3Dt-hwekFq-hwfHac-hwfH2g-hwfGR6-hwe39R-hwek8b-hweMdW-hwe2NR-hweM2U-hwe2Dx-hwejAE-hweLJQ-hwe2hR-hwfFQi-hweLhN-hweL7N-hweL6q-hweiCh-hweiB5-hwfFdB-hwfFbH-hwe1wn-hwe1gT-hweKuW-hwe15a-huuGUQ-huveiU-huuuXT-huvdSd-huuune-huw3Qr-huuDn9-huw3cn-huvVWB-huuUJ9-hukPEm-hundaB-hukNiU-hummwu
  • See bottom http://about.americanexpress.com/news/pr/2013/summer-travel-soars-americans-spend-more.aspx
  • http://visualeconomics.creditloan.com/the-business-of-american-vacations/
  • http://www.nahb.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentID=55764
  • http://www.ctj.org/pdf/taxday2014.pdf

    See bottom http://www.ctj.org/pdf/taxday2013report.pdf
  • http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfoundation.org/files/docs/state-local-sales-taxes-2014-(large).png

  • http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfoundation.org/files/docs/state-local-sales-taxes-2014-(large).png

  • http://www.nahb.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentID=55764
  • http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfoundation.org/files/docs/state-local-sales-taxes-2014-(large).png

  • http://www.nahb.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentID=55764
  • Transcript of "Do You Really Need $130,000 for the American Dream?"

    1. 1. The American Dream at $130,000?
    2. 2. 1) Housing Costs USA Today used a house costing $275,000 as its anchor because that was, “the median price of a new home.”
    3. 3. 1) Housing Costs The Problem • According to the National Association of Homebuilders, new homes account for just 8%-10% of all home sales. • The other 90% are sales of existing homes— which are much cheaper. • The American Dream isn’t negated by buying an existing home.
    4. 4. 1) Housing Costs The Solution • The median existing home price from the timeframe USA Today used was $198,000. • By weighting the mix of new and existing home sales, we arrive at a new median home price of $205,000. • This new price knocks the annual cost of owning a home down to $12,623.
    5. 5. 1) Housing Costs The Result Total savings from previous figure= $4,439 New income “needed” for American Dream $125,918
    6. 6. 2) Car Costs USA Today assumed an SUV was essential for the American Dream. According to AAA, driving an SUV 15,000 miles in a year costs $11,039.
    7. 7. 2) Car Costs The Problem • A mid-sized sedan can easily meet the needs of a family of four, and is far cheaper and more fuel efficient than an SUV. • The average American driver, according to the Federal Highway Administration, drives less than 10,000 miles per year, further reducing costs. • An SUV is not essential to living the American Dream.
    8. 8. 2) Car Costs The Solution According to AAA, a mid-sized sedan driving 10,000 miles per year costs $7,616 per year to own and operate.
    9. 9. 2) Car Costs The Result Total savings from previous figure= $3,423 New income “needed” for American Dream $122,495
    10. 10. 3) Food Costs USA Today, using USDA numbers, said a family would spend $12,659 on groceries. An extra $3,662 was added for restaurant trips. That comes to $16,321 spent on food.
    11. 11. 3) Food Costs The Problem • USA Today didn’t read the USDA’s fine print. The USDA estimates assume, “that all meals and snacks are prepared at home.” [emphasis added] Obviously, that means no restaurants. • These numbers are also significantly higher than what the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says the average family spends on food—both at home and while eating out.
    12. 12. 3) Food Costs The Solution • Normalized for a family of four, with two children under the age of 18, the BLS figures say that the average American family spends $9,755 on food—both at home and away. • The USDA guidelines haven’t been updated in 7 years, and simply don’t reflect the reality of normal American eating patterns.
    13. 13. 3) Food Costs The Result Total savings from previous figure= $6,566 New income “needed” for American Dream $115,929
    14. 14. 4) Education Costs USA Today, while not revealing its methodology, assumes that the average family will spend $4,000 on education between two children.
    15. 15. 4) Education Costs The Problem • According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 9% of the nation’s 55 million school children attend private elementary or secondary schools. • The Pew Research Foundation says that there are 12.4 million stay-at-home parents, accounting for roughly 28% of all family households. These families typically don’t pay for childcare. • Attending public school or having a parent stay home does not eliminate you from the American Dream.
    16. 16. 4) Education Costs The Solution • It is difficult to correct these numbers, since USA Today did not reveal its methods. • But given the vast majority of public school students, and spreading out the cost of childcare over 18 years, we’ll assume (liberally) that the average family spends $3,000 per year on education.
    17. 17. 4) Education Costs The Result Total savings from previous figure= $1,000 New income “needed” for American Dream $114,929
    18. 18. 5) Summer Vacation Costs USA Today, using numbers from an American Express survey, say that the average family will spend $4,580 on a summer vacation.
    19. 19. 5) Summer Vacation Costs The Problem • Again, USA Today didn’t read the fine print. American Express readily admits that its survey includes, “an affluent demographic, defined by a minimum annual household income of $100,000.” • Obviously, the American Dream family will need over $100,000 if data is being pulled from this subset. • You don’t need a $4,580 vacation to live the American Dream.
    20. 20. 5) Summer Vacation Costs The Solution Money Magazine and AAA have conducted far more representative surveys. They estimate the average American family spends $1,600 on its summer vacation.
    21. 21. 5) Summer Vacation Costs The Result Total savings from previous figure= $2,980 New income “needed” for American Dream=$111,949
    22. 22. 6) Tax Costs As the paper states: “Total federal, state, and local taxes were pegged at 30% for households at this income level, based on a model developed for Citizens for Tax Justice [CTJ].”
    23. 23. 6) Tax Costs The Problem • The CTJ includes ALL taxes paid, including sales tax. By using these numbers, USA Today double counted taxes on the tens of thousands of dollars already spent. • The CTJ adds in unearned income from investments to one’s adjusted gross income. But according to USA Today’s model, all investments are in tax-deferred retirement accounts— meaning no unearned income is present.
    24. 24. 6) Tax Costs The Solution First, we would need to figure out your adjusted gross income (AGI). The major deductions you could take/consider: • A standard deduction of $12,200 for a married couple filing jointly, which is the example USA Today used. • Four personal exemptions at $3,950 each for a total of $15,800. • Remember, your 401(k) contributions won’t count towards your AGI either.
    25. 25. 6) Tax Costs The Solution • Your federal income tax bill would come to $6,280. • According to the Tax Foundation, the median average combined state and local tax rate is 6.9% (varies wildly by state). Based on your AGI, you would pay $3,300. • The New York Times calculated the average property tax rate in the United States at 1.38% (again, varies wildly). With a property worth $205,000, you would pay $2,830. • Your new tax burden would be $12,401.
    26. 26. 6) Tax Costs The Result Total savings from previous figure= $19,956 New income “needed” for American Dream $91,993
    27. 27. 7) Retirement Costs USA Today encouraged maxing out 401(k) savings at $17,500, or 15%-- which it stated was, “in line with financial planners’ recommendations.”
    28. 28. 7) Retirement Costs The Problem • There’s actually no problem here. If you can put away the maximum into your 401(k), the more power to you. • However, it would end up being far more than the 15% USA Today mentioned as a good guideline. • You don’t need to put away this much to live the American Dream.
    29. 29. 7) Retirement Costs The Solution • Using the new income level after all of our adjustments, you would want to put away $13,175 per year in your 401(k) if 15% was your goal.
    30. 30. 7) Retirement Costs The Result Total savings from previous figure= $4,325 New income “needed” for American Dream $87,668
    31. 31. Important Points to Remember 1. Assuming this new number, roughly one-third of U.S. households could have the American Dream—much better than one in eight. 2. However, almost no one’s situation will match this exactly. Everyone’s life situation (and definition of the American Dream) is different. 3. This simply illustrates glaring facts that weren’t taken into consideration.
    32. 32. Maximize Your Retirement Savings
    1. A particular slide catching your eye?

      Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

    ×