Who are the HENRYs? Charts show who makes more than $200,000 and how they earn it

Who are the HENRYs? Charts show who makes more than 0,000 and how they earn it
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  • HENRYs are people who are high earners but not rich yet.
  • On average, HENRYs are white Gen Xers, and a good chunk of them are also DINKs.
  • While HENRYs hold financial assets and earn substantial wage income, many also carry debt.

Just because someone makes six figures doesn’t mean they have a high net worth — and vice versa.

Instead, there’s a subset of high earners who aspire to accrue that nest egg but are still plugging away. Unlike many older Americans with a higher net worth, these workers are what’s called “HENRYs” — high earners, not rich yet. They might someday own the assets to make them millionaires, but for now, they’re just raking in plump paychecks.

So who are the HENRYs?

To break down the demographics of America’s HENRYs, we used the Survey of Consumer Finances to analyze Americans who earn $200,000 or more a year but have net worths under $1 million.

So who are these stratified HENRYs? They’re a little older than the wider HENRY base, primarily white, and most likely in a salaried role.

Broadly, we know that they're typically millennials or younger Gen Xers. Most HENRYs are ages 40 to 49, although an impressive 5.3% are ages 20 to 29. Nearly 28% are ages 30 to 39, and over a fifth are ages 50 to 59. The average age of a HENRY is about 46.

HENRYs also tend to be white and are overwhelmingly coupled up.

Just over 90% of HENRYs are married. As BI's Noah Sheidlower previously reported, many HENRYs are likely to be DINKs — meaning that they're in double-income households with no kids.

For some couples, being DINKS has meant the ability and freedom to travel, save, and prepare for an early retirement. Our analysis of this group of HENRYs found that around 31% are married with no kids, a higher rate than the 20% of American adults overall who researchers estimate could be opting to go child-free. Just under 60% of HENRYs are married with children.

HENRYs all hold some form of financial assets; they also overwhelmingly have checking accounts, and the vast majority have cars and houses.

Many HENRYs also have some debt, which makes sense since many have mortgages. Unlike their millionaire or billionaire counterparts who derive most of their wealth from holdings, HENRYs are likely still paying off some debts.

HENRYs who are indebted hold an average of $319,170 in debt; just over three-quarters of HENRYs have mortgage and home equity loans, and those loans currently have an average balance of about $312,185.

Meanwhile, around 43% of HENRYs have educational loans; those are, on average, around $74,864.

Right now, Americans are, on the whole, having somewhat of a credit crisis. Credit card balances keep reaching record highs, and Fortune found that American cardholders have, on average, $5,733 in credit card balances. HENRYs are carrying nearly twice that much. Like other consumers, HENRYs carry some credit card debt, and just under half have credit card balances.

Even so, HENRYs tend to earn their money the same way as most Americans: They work a job that earns wages. While wages make up the majority of HENRYs' incomes, a good chunk does get income from capital gains and businesses they own.

That's a key distinction between the HENRYs and those who might be considered ultrawealthy. Billionaires tend to get most of their compensation through capital gains — the money they make from selling off assets like stocks — which is taxed at a lower rate than a normal paycheck.

Others see the bulk of their incomes as capital gains, which is the value that stocks and other assets accrue; when a capital gain is sold off, its tax rate is lower than that on straightforward income.

But as HENRYs pay off their debts and continue to accrue real estate or stocks, they might make the jump from high-earning to asset-rich — just not quite yet.

Are you a HENRY, or an aspiring HENRY? Contact this reporter at [email protected].

Read the original article on Business Insider

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