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.

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