Ah, the "wealth effect"... Even so, it's risky to rely on those things as an excuse to not save. The value of IRAs and 401Ks, and even homes, can go down as well as up. What is needed is an accurate index of savings for pre-retirement population. The current government saving rate is inaccurate and useless. As the baby boomers age, they are going to retire. Those who are retired are spending and not earning. They have an expected negative savings rate. A person can have a negative savings rate and an increasing net worth. A good year for subprime mortgages is a 10% default rate. The rate is approaching 13%. As with all statistics the baseline is needed before evaluating the current values. Debra
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