According to a report released Wednesday, the real estate market bust and stock market declines have carved a huge chunk out of the assets of baby boomers, the largest age cohort in U.S. history.
So much home equity has been lost that should boomers need to sell their homes, 30% of those aged 45 to 54 would owe money at closing, according to "The Wealth of the Baby Boom Cohorts After the Collapse of the Housing Bubble," a report released by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a Washington, D.C.-based, non-partisan think tank. About 18% of boomers aged 55 to 64 are underwater and would have to bring money to the table.
The CEPR also found that people who were renting homes in 2004 will have more wealth in 2009 than those who were owners. That's true for all five wealth groups the study analyzed, from the poorest to the wealthiest.
"The collapse of the housing bubble, which led to the current recession, has already destroyed almost $6 trillion dollars in housing wealth for homeowners," said report co-author Dean Baker. "This reality is compounded by the recent collapse of the stock market. Many baby boomers will only have Social Security and Medicare to rely on in their retirement."
Boomers between 45 and 54 have lost 45% of their median net worth, leaving them with just $80,000 in net worth, including home equity, according to the report.
Older boomers have fared marginally better. Those between 55 and 64 have lost 38% of their net worth, leaving them with $140,000. But this group is rapidly nearing retirement age and they have few working years left to make up the losses.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Many baby-boomers are underwater on their homes
The Center for Economic and Policy Research reports the poor state of Americans nearing retirement: