Jonathan from the My Money Blog just left me a comment, so I went and checked out his blog. He's keeping track of his goal of having $1.5 million by the time he's 40 (I think). He's 26 now and is currently at about $68k net worth, the image above from his website breaks it all down.
First, when I was 26 I was just getting my feet under me after years of paying off college debts. I lived off my credit cards while in college (it's a bad sign when you're buying groceries and paying for rent on your Discover Card). So how the hell does a 26yo have $50k in the bank? That seems insane to me. Over the years my credit rating is just now finally in the "Fair" category (using the FICO rating system), when I was 26 having $50k in the bank was a dream. It still is.
I'm 33 and my net worth is right around $0. Which I guess is okay. I could have massive credit card debt (the average in the U.S. is $8k), but I'm still trying to get my taxes straightened out from my years in Spain and I owe my parents some cash as well, so in general I'm about $68k behind this guy who's 7 years younger than me. This is annoying. It gets even more annoying when you're working with millionaires and a multi billionaire. I just have to try not to think about it.
I wish I could be obsessed with cash like I am with technology. Instead of being fascinated with wireless technology terms (pick a few. GSM, WCDMA, CDMA2000 1x EV-DO, whatever) I could be fascinated with markets, savings accounts, financial terms, bonds, stocks, assets, etc. I'm not. In fact, for the most part I try to ignore that stuff and remain purposefully ignorant of it all. I just hate it all with such a passion. People start talking to me about 401ks and I just want to puke.
Early on I realized that there's no reason to pay attention to financial issues when you're broke, and that's pretty much sticking with me now. I think this is the root of some of the class warfare we see in American society. You have people who were brought up in an environment of money and assets, and you have others that weren't. You can "cross over" from one to the other - the success stories - but for the most part, if you start broke, you stay broke. Don't believe me? Look at the My Fico website - see those rates on the left. People who don't have money, usually have trouble paying bills and once you start to get bad credit, you start paying more for everything, which basically creates this vicious cycle of debt that pretty much keeps you broke for the rest of your life. I'm living proof, despite my high paying job in a white collar industry.
Anyways, I guess I'm just venting. Like I said, I usually ignore this stuff, but when I was looking for a house, I was forced to gawk at these gorgeous homes that were way out of my reach and then worry about my credit when applying for rentals. I'd rather just not think of this stuff.