Investing, Personal Finance, Retirement 

A.G. Edward’s Inaugural Nest Egg Index

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A.G. Edwards has created their Next Egg Index in which tracks American’s savings and investing habits and turned up some really interesting statistics that might surprise you (or not). The most interesting statistic coming out of this study is the fact that major metropolitan areas aren’t represented in the top 200 communities (New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and San Antonio) which may not be a surprise if you’ve ever bought anything in New York City, Los Angeles or Miami, though cost of living wasn’t the only factor since San Francisco and Cape Cod were in the top ten as well. As Flexo noted, three of the top ten are in New Jersey (cheap compared to NYC, but try buying a house there) and my home counties of Nassau-Suffolk placed second. The top three states were New Jersey, Connecticut, and Minnesota.

The press release also gave some “fun facts and interesting trends:”

  • Eastern states ranked higher than western states. 9 of the top 20 were in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region, only two states west of the Mississippi ranked in the top ten.
  • Northern states trumped Southern states. The lowest Northeastern state, NY, was the only state in the region that scored lower than the highest Southern state, NC.
  • High taxes didn’t mean lower nest egg scores. Two of the top three states are in the top four in terms of total tax per capita.
  • How did they come up with this index scoring? They used the following statistics:

  • Savings propensity (proportion of households that have a savings product – savings account, CD, IRA, etc)
  • 401(k) retirement plan penetration
  • Non-401(k) retirement savings plan penetration
  • Investing propensity (any sort of non 401(k) plan)
  • Net Worth
  • Owner-occupied housing value
  • First mortgage balance
  • Personal debt level
  • Home ownership
  • Household income
  • Cost of living
  • Local employment rate
  • The owner-occupied housing values may have skewed the Nest Egg index towards more expensive areas (ie. the New Jersey neighborhoods, San Jose, Long Island, etc.) because a lot of the top places have extremely expensive homes. I wouldn’t put too much stock in these rankings, like all rankings, but it is fun to play around and see how your area stacked up. (check out the top rankings at CNN)

    All the information in this article came from the A.G. Edward’s press releases provided by a representative of Carmichael Lynch Spong.

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