The rich got just a little bit richer last year, with the number of ultrahigh-net-worth people – those with $30 million or more in assets – growing to 226,450 individuals, or an increase of 3.5%.
What’s more, Wealth-X, a wealth research firm, reports that these individuals’ combined wealth swelled by 1.5% to $27 trillion in 2016.
The North American region topped the list, with wealth growing by 5.1%, while Asia came in second, as wealth grew by 3.5%.
The Associated Press recently reported that the median total compensation for CEOs totaled $11.5 million in 2016 – an 8.5% jump over 2015 and the largest increase since 2013.
But most of us don’t exist in this rarefied stratosphere of extreme wealth. In fact, the average American worker has seen little in the way of wealth growth over the past several years.
Yet with careful planning and a little knowledge, we can take advantage of some of the same techniques to build a nest egg to protect against the next financial collapse…
Money Is Tight
With nearly every update from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we’re told that the jobs market has never been stronger and unemployment has been falling. Even the less well-known underemployment index has been steadily dropping.
And I’ll give you that more people who want jobs have them.
But too many of those jobs aren’t paying what people need them to pay in order to pay their bills and save money for the next disaster – such as a recession.
According to a recent survey by Survata conducted on behalf of GoBankingRates, 49% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and savings are pretty close to nonexistent.
Roughly 61% have reported that they don’t have six months’ worth of expenses saved.
In too many metropolitan areas, most two-earner households are struggling to make ends meet on a gross annual income of $100,000 and a monthly budget of $8,333, according to MagnifyMoney.
While the average household spends 75% of its take-home pay on monthly expenses, there are at least 11 metropolitan cities out of 381 where 90% of monthly income is going to basic monthly expenses.
Furthermore, Bankrate.com reports that in only 1 out of 25 large U.S. cities – Washington, D.C. – can households making the median income afford an average-price new car (approximately $35,000).
Developing rainy day savings can make a huge different in how a household survives the next economic downturn. And regardless of whether you think it’s coming tomorrow or a year from now, you can’t deny that there will be another recession.
Will you be ready?
Building your nest egg against the next economic downturn or even just for your retirement takes careful planning and smart investing.
One avenue is to follow a proven trading system that takes the guesswork out of figuring out the direction of a stock, allowing you to pocket solid gains in your portfolio.
Another way is to use all the tax-free retirement savings vehicles available to you. Most investors are unaware that you can actually use your health savings account (HSA) as a form of retirement savings, as the funds are rolled over year after year if they are not used. They can be invested and steadily grown into a nice nest egg, then withdrawn during your retirement years to cover medical expenses or just regular living expenses (though, taxes must be paid then).
The key to planning ahead for the next recession is remembering to pull money aside into smart, tax-advantaged accounts and solid investments. You might not find yourself in the rarefied air of the ultrawealthy just yet, but you’ll be able to sleep easier when the market falls apart once again.