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Chad Griffith

You may not be feeling it, but the average family’s finances have nearly recovered from the ravages of the last recession. That’s according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which found that median household income surged 5.2% last year to $56,516 from $53,718 in 2014. That’s one of the fastest increases in history, and it was seen across most regions and demographics. Still, it’s a mixed picture. Much of the increase reflected people rejoining the workforce, rather than an increase in wages, which continue to stagnate. So there’s that. For retirement savers, it’s encouraging that fewer seniors are struggling financially—just 8.8% of those 65 and older were living in poverty vs. 10% in 2014. But that’s not adjusted for rising health care expenses. Using a more accurate formula that reflects costs for seniors, the Census Bureau said the poverty rate is a steep 13.7% for older Americans. Ouch. So keep plowing money into your 401(k) plan and don’t skip those trips to the gym. (Guilty.) Staying as healthy as you can, as long as you can, is a crucial financial investment.

Best wishes,


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“I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity.”

--Playwright Tom Stoppard