Gateway 8: Earning a Decent Living and Building Wealth

A job with benefits that pays at least enough for a family to be self-sufficient and to build assets is the surest path into the Cycle of Opportunity.

Individuals and families who earn enough to be self-sufficient and to build assets are more likely to enjoy financial stability through retirement and be able to pass on opportunities to future generations.

Individuals and families who do not earn enough to be self-sufficient are likely to cut corners, such as going without insurance, threatening their overall well-being. They are also less likely to be able to prepare for retirement by building wealth, and less likely to be able to help their children get ahead.

To measure how well Coloradans are doing getting well-paying jobs and building wealth through asset accumulation, we have selected the following four indicators:

Indicator 1: Earning a self sufficient wage
Earning a self sufficient wage is critical to moving families and individuals onto the Cycle of Opportunity.

Indicator 2: Home ownership
Owning a home provides shelter for a family and is the largest source of wealth for many.

Indicator 3: Families experiencing asset poverty
Families need savings to allow them to weather an emergency, such as the loss of a job or an illness.

Indicator 4: Households with bank accounts
Traditional bank accounts help provide financial stability and tools for building savings and home ownership.

Read the whole chapter on Gateway 8: Earning a Decent Living and Building Wealth in Colorado: The State of Opportunity2002 report2005 report