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Screen shot 2010-10-18 at 10.27.56 AM I caught this "snapshot" in USA Today last week; or was it over the weekend?  Who cares, I was on vacation.  

Interesting isn't it?  I love these little editorial-less blurbs because they allow you to infer what you will without someone feeding you their own conclusions.

As always, I'm no expert, but I do find it amusing to speculate on the human element behind the numbers.   


Muse with me:  Why would people with lower incomes be more confident about retiring early than people with higher incomes?

1. People with lower incomes are better savers than people with higher incomes.

A person with a lower income could have more motivation to spend their money more wisely and make it go further.  A small income can result in the cultivation of frugal habits like clipping coupons, budget keeping and stealing your neighbor's cable (alright, not the last one).


2. People with higher incomes were more heavily invested in the stock market prior to the market crash

A severe dip in your portfolio would make you less optimistic too. 


3. People with lower incomes can predict the future better than people with higher incomes OR vice versa.

Only time will tell which earners are correct with their predictions, or if anyone is even correct at all.  I, for one, frequently get the feeling that everyone knows something that I don't, so it is entirely possible that they do…  


4. Different Incomes = Different Retirement Expectations

How much money you "need" in retirement largely depends on your lifestyle pre-retirement.  As financial experts rarely agree on anything, the "rule" for retirement income varies from 70% to 80% to 90% of your current income. 

It goes without saying (so I'm not sure why I'm saying it) that X% of $20,000 is going to be less than X% of $100,000.  Maybe the "rich" people have further to go.


What do you think?  Are any of these explinations more likely than the others?  Got any theories of your own?

Article publié pour la première fois le 20/10/2010

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