I saw an interesting article in Business Insider yesterday. The article contained the median salaries for all Americans between the ages of 18 and 70. Of course, the “median” is the figure at which one-half of all salaries are below and the other one-half of salaries are above. The younger ages had the lowest figures. For example, those between the ages of 18 and 25 had a median salary of $16,700 to $32,100. On the other end of the scale, those between ages 63 and 70 had a median salary of $55,200 and $67,000.
The article used data from the 2016 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. An interesting finding is that incomes increase gradually for workers in their 20’s and 30’s and then level out between the 30’s and the 60’s. The figures are for full-time year-round workers. The article noted that these figures are a snapshot and not a measure of how salaries change over time.
While these numbers may seem large to some, the cost of living and levels of debt that individuals and families have can make it difficult to maintain a decent standard of living even with an above median salary. Having a good income is certainly part of the formula for living free of the stress caused by high levels of debt. But keeping debt under control and wisely managing finances is also very important. In our society and culture, we are constantly bombarded with offers of credit and the opportunity to borrow more and more money. We are told that a high credit score is essential so that we can borrow more and more and live a good life. So, it’s easy to understand how people with good salaries and/or other income can become entrapped with excessive debt loads.
Certainly, a high credit score can be beneficial in many ways, but it can also be detrimental if it facilitates accumulating excessive debt. Avoiding excessive debt is always the best route. And paying down debt is by far the best way to handle it. But when the debt is there and the ability to pay that debt as and when due is not possible, it’s time to act. Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate. If you cannot pay the debts you owe, regardless of your salary amount, get competent help. Learn about your options. Consult with a debt relief lawyer to identify and discuss your options, then exercise the best option for you. The bottom line is that no matter what your age or salary is, you may find yourself overwhelmed by too much debt. If this is your situation, there is a way out and you owe it to yourself and your family to seek the help you need.