While it’s true that old age means more wrinkles and grey hairs, it also probably means more money in your bank account.
The economists behind the paper, William Emmons, Bryan Noeth and Ray Boshara, analyzed Federal Reserve surveys of 40,000 families carried out between 1989 and 2013 to find out how certain demographic factors might affect a person’s wealth.
According to the paper, the chances of someone under 40 having a net worth of at least $1 million is a measly 1 in 55.
Meanwhile, the odds of someone over 62 being a millionaire is a much more likely 1 in 7.
The reason younger people tend to have less money than older people is simple: they have worked and saved less while also having to spend on early-life investments like education and home ownership.
The researchers also found that over the last 25 years, the percentage of old people who have at least $1 million has risen slightly, while the percentage of young millionaires has dropped. That’s bad news for Generation Xers and millennials, although the latter hasn’t lived long enough to make a full comparison.
No matter the age, however, sometimes wealth just comes down to opportunity.
“Some people are just born lucky,” the economists write.