Nest Egg Index

Brokerage firm A. G. Edwards recently released its annual Nest Egg Index of 50 states and 500 communities. This is the third time that the firm used the index, which is determined by studying state residents’ personal savings and investing behavior, to measure How Well Americans Are Saving Money.

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This year’s study found that communities with high nest egg score “benefit from local strong housing markets and show a high propensity toward saving and investing, particularly in retirement vehicles such as 401(k) or pension plans.” The reference to “strong housing markets” may indicate that the study was conducted before the subprime mortgage blow-out. The perception that housing is strengthening a family’s bottom line could change in next year’s survey if the housing market slump drags on. Meanwhile, the study also showed that residents in high ranking communities usually have a low debt level compared to the national average. According to the survey, this year’s top 5 high nest egg score states are:

  1. Connecticut (114.25)
  2. New Jersey (113.21)
  3. Minnesota (112.59)
  4. Massachusetts (112.19)
  5. Maryland (111.59)

Connecticut and New Jersey also occupy the top two spots as the nation’s wealthiest states in the latest Census Bureau Income, Poverty and Health Insurance survey published on August 28th.

In addition, A. G. Edwards also has a simple tool to estimate personal nest egg score. I did the estimation once last year and with exactly the same answers as I gave last year, my score is 10 points lower than that of last year. Try it and see what your nest egg score is. It’s not supposed to be accurate, but it gives you a rough idea on how you are comparing with the averaging in saving money :)

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6 Responses to “Nest Egg Index”

  1. The Dividend Guy |  Sep 15, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    This is an interesting post and I appreciate your perspective on it. What I am always curious about when firms like A. G. Edwards publish this sort of stuff. Of course there is a marketing component for them, but my real question is what are people supposed to do with this information. Maybe I am being too shortsighted, but I am not sure how this type of information they release is helpful to me as an investor?

    P.S. Just came across your blog and am visiting for the first time. I have subscribed to your RSS and look forward to future posts.

  2. MoneyNing |  Sep 17, 2007 at 1:10 am

    I imagine the home equity is part of the nest egg calculation since there are many reports that housing costs is not the best investment vehicle.

    It would be interesting if we can dig out the same article done for 2000 (before the housing boom) to see if it shows the same data.

  3. Sun |  Sep 18, 2007 at 12:46 am

    The Dividend Guy: When I first saw the index last year, I took their questions and got a score, then that’s it. I didn’t change anything or do anything differently. What the most the index can do is generating some kind of an urgency to save more if one fall far behind. Other than that, it’s not going to help an individual with his/her specific case, I guess, though at the end of the questions, they gave several very general steps
    on what to do to increase savings. Besides, it only ranks states and communities, so living in a high ranking state/community doesn’t mean anything to the residents. So it won’t help anybody in terms of
    investing as you noticed. I just see it as a tool with a little value.

    I have visited your site several times and noticed that you are a big dividend investor. I also pay a lot of attention to dividend paying stocks and ETFs and have several of them.