As a nation, are we going broke?
First name
When Monica and I are travelling, we sometimes stop in antique stores, thrift shops, and the like. When we do, I like looking for old magazines - specifically Life and National Geo. I have fond memories of these as a child and they offer a unique glimpse into our nation's history. 
Last week, I picked up the November 18, 1957 issue of Life. It had an entire section dedicated to “early retirement” which, in the end, really meant leaving that “high-pressure city job” for one with presumably less pressure and more work/life balance. It would be interesting to talk with the subjects of that article - all long since dead since the youngest was around 45 at the time. But what really got my attention was an advertisement…
So how are we doing?
According to the folks at Statista, not so great.
Image item
Oh, but with inflation, it's not so bad right? I guess it depends upon your math.
That $11.84 in 1915 is the same as around $367 in 2024 so our debt burden today is roughly 275 times greater than it was around the time we first agreed to let Congress tax us into oblivion.
The $1,625 in 1957 equals around $18,132 today, which means today's debt burden is ONLY around 5.5 times what it was in 1957. Nothing to worry about though, inflation will take care of it! 
In reality, the only way to fight this monster is to be invested. Look at the chart below. If your great (or great-great) grandparents could have invested $100 in an S&P index and left it alone until today, it would be worth around $4.8MM. Put another way, that $11.84 would be worth around $580,000 or five times today's per capita debt burden. 
So, should you go out and start buying? No, but if you have the opportunity to “collect assets”, you can build wealth. Inflation really hurts those without assets. People who have a lot of “stuff” don't suffer nearly as much and, many times, do better. That's why planning is so important.
Image item
Are we going broke? Let me know what you think.

When we create a plan, we provide our clients a clear set of action steps supported by objective analysis. Then, we work with them over time to implement the actions most important to them. 
That's why we trademarked the phrase…
Want to know more or need some help?

Business-owner Strategies Group, LLC is a North Carolina Registered Investment Adviser d/b/a BSG Advisers.  BSG Advisers offers clients financial planning, investment advice and insurance.  

BSG Advisers does not provide tax or legal services.