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<<Gee, Ray, I didn't know I was that special! >>
You are. We ALL are. None of us who hang out on the Motley Fool are typical.

<<Anyway, I think you're too quick to dismiss folks in the 15% bracket as just scraping by. >>
This is not a "dismissal". It's just a statement of the plain facts.

<<. Don't think for a moment that a family making ~$60K can't save enough to fully fund 2 IRAs.>>
Gee, suddenly we've moved from discussing people at the median family income ($35K) to far, far higher. That $25K difference represents a LOT of disposable income.

I dug the government statistics out, but I left the printout at work, so I have to go from memory. Here goes:
1996 tax year (the latest posted on the IRS site),
for the filed tax returns with AGI between $30K and $40K--which neatly encompasses the median family income.. 5.88% of these tax returns had a payment to an IRA. Of these, the average IRA payment was $1420.

So..... less than 6% of these people contributed to an IRA. And the average IRA payment was only 70% of the allowable maximum.

Now, to me this bears out the claim that "most of these people can't afford to fund an IRA". Despite what you or I may think about what they can afford, *they* don't seem to think that they can afford it.


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