Editor: Crass Cash
How can these similar countries end up so differently? Well all in lies in the human psychology of money. All four countries have similar cultures when compared to other groups of countries, starting with the Anglo heritage and moving into robust amounts of immigration.
The personal finances of the individuals have turned out very differently so far though. Grant it this wasn't always the case, but still it has progressed to this point.
I'd highly encourage to read the book NUDGE. It demonstrates just what I'm talking in that the countries that have ended up more affluent people have "nudged" their citizens into a certain direction. And when I say affluent I don't mean income, I mean wealth. That wonderful of all types of money where money is generated from itself versus from labor.
So what's the big difference? Well outside the USA citizebs are automatically signed up their retirement plans whereas here they have to go do it themselves. They're opted out unless otherwise told to join. This makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE over a 40 yr working career. Look at any compounding interest tables and see what an extra 15 years will get you. It's astounding!
The other is that they're not encouraged to carry debt since they don't get the mortgage interest tax deduction like Americans. Those two factors over an individuals working career can mean the difference of hubdreds of thousands if not millions.
1. Invest for retirement ASAP!
2. Pay off your mortgage ASAP!