Figures released Monday by the Federal Reserve reinforce the collective economic calamity shared by most Americans over the past few years: The net worth of families has plunged by nearly 40 percent.
Data suggests that the average family's median net worth dropped 39 percent over a three year period, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. In the end, Americans are back to where they were, on average, in 1992.
A story in the Washington Post suggests that the economic setbacks have critically impacted workers' retirement plans, with many starting from scratch to reset their savings and investment plans.
Which will be more difficult as Americans are also making less money, as median income fell about 8 percent to $45,800 in 2010. The average value of stock market-based retirement accounts also fell, dropping 6 percent to $44,000.
Housing values make up a huge portion of the drop in net worth, with the value of Americans' portion of ownership in their own homes falling 42 percent between 2007 and 2010, to just $55,000.
Some positives: Fewer families are carrying huge credit card balances, with the median balance dropping 16 percent to $2,600. And almost a quarter of families carry no debt at all.
Read the full story here.