July 2008, Dean Baker and David Rosnick
This paper extrapolates from data from the 2004 Survey of Consumer Finance to project household wealth, by wealth quintile, in 2009 under three alternative scenarios. The first scenario assumes that real house prices fall no further than their level as of March 2008. The second scenario assumes that real house prices fall an additional 10 percent as a 2009 average. The third scenario assumes that real house prices fall an additional 20 percent for a 2009 average. The projections show that the vast majority of families will see a substantial reduction in wealth by 2009 in any of these scenarios and that the cohorts just approaching retirement will have very little to support themselves in retirement other than their Social Security. The projections also show that a large number of families will have little or no equity in their homes in 2009.
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