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The Wealth of the Baby Boom Cohorts After the Collapse of the Housing Bubble

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Publication Date:

Publisher(s): Center for Economic and Policy Research

Author(s): David Rosnick; Dean Baker

Topic: Population and demographics (Older people)

Keywords: Recession; Home ownership; Personal wealth

Type: Report

Coverage: United States

Abstract:

This report builds upon previous CEPR projections to more accurately describe the current wealth prospects for the baby boom cohorts aged 45 to 54 and 55 to 64. The severity of the housing market meltdown, coupled with the recent collapse of the stock market, has had a severe negative impact on the wealth of these cohorts. Using data from the 2004 Survey of Consumer Finance and the November 2008 Case-Shiller 20 City Price Index, the authors create three possible scenarios for baby boomer wealth and find these households will enter retirement with little wealth beyond Social Security. For each cohort in 2004 and 2009, the paper analyzes net worth, financial assets, equity in real estate, percent of households in each cohort who will need cash to close on their primary residence, net worth of homeowners, net worth of non-homeowners, and the percent of homeowners who would need cash to close on their primary residence.