We've been bombarded the past few years with stories about the "horrendous" wealth inequality that needs to be corrected. I'm a bit confused because when I drive in our metro area I see many homes with values of $150,000 to $1 million with two to four cars in the driveway. Are we being deceived?

According to a 2013 report by Credit Suisse, two-thirds of the world's 3.2 billion adults has a net worth less than $10,000. A 2018 report stated a net worth of $4,210 would put you in the top 50% worldwide. A typical American teen with a used car is probably close to this dollar amount. These numbers tell me the world is quite poor.

A better analysis of net worth is provided by a 2016 Federal Reserve study of 126 million U.S. households. A net worth of $97,000 would put a family at the 50th percentile. The 70th landed on $270,000 and 80th percentile was $499,000.

These statistics tell me that higher personal wealth numbers can be achieved and we shouldn't be concerned about the wealth attained by Bill Gates and others. Wealth is not a zero-sum game.

Why aren't Americans wealthier? Both spouses are working and they're having fewer children. It could be those two or more cars in the driveway and never-ending car payments. Automobiles are not a wealth creator. Family sizes have shrunk but houses have gotten larger. Although residential home values have seen nice price appreciation, many homeowners are still carrying too much debt.

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These poor spending habits are hindering families from contributing funds to college savings accounts and then they must rely on debt.