🥧 Millionaire pie


There’s a traditional Southern dessert that’s so rich it’s dubbed “millionaire pie,” and the U.S. has the world’s biggest piece. 

Home to 37%* of all millionaires, America is the leading country for private wealth creation and accumulation. Over 5.5 million people boast liquid investible assets of over $1 million, a 62% surge in the past decade. 

According to Empower research, there are other ways people slice up what it means to "make it”: the ability to pay bills on time (67%), living debt free (65%), affording everyday luxuries without worry (54%), and retiring when they want to (37%).  

If you’re looking for seconds, we’re serving more money headlines this week.  

— The Editors


💰 That’s rich: It’s been a record-setting year for billionaires. With 2,781 total worldwide, worth a combined $14.2 trillion,* there are now more than ever according to the 2024 Forbes World’s Billionaires List. There were an additional 141 individuals minted this year, and aggregate wealth was up $2 trillion from 2023. In other all-time highs: The U.S. tops the list with 813 billionaires worth a combined $5.7 trillion and 14 people, including 10 from the U.S., made the $100 billion cut.*  

🚿 Showerhead gold standard: Nearly 30% of Americans say they overspend on luxuries, and sleek showerheads are making a splash. Jolie Skin Company’s $165 attachment, which promises to improve hair and skin by filtering out chlorine and heavy metals, saw revenues flow to $28 million in 2023, up from $4 million the prior year. The haircare market locks in $13.6 billion.* 

🍴 Dressing it up: Hidden Valley — the biggest ranch brand in the U.S. with $1.3 billion* in sales last year — is on a quest to create “ranch occasions at every hour of the day.” The company is investing in new flavors, including garlic, pickle, and cheese variations, to convince consumers that dressings taste good with every meal.  

🐕 Furry friend gravy train: IKEA is looking for a larger piece of the $320 billion* global pet industry with a new 29-product line* of beds, bowls, and toys. Created with input from vets, product experts, and “a panel of cats and dogs,” the collection is designed to be right on the money: Four-legged fun that looks chic at a good price point.  


Sweetening the pot 
Median home prices soaring to a near-record high have some companies offering a new financial carrot to entice workers to relocate near offices: Housing assistance. A recent poll revealed 47%* of workers would return to the office for employer-backed housing help and 30% would take the incentive over a raise. 

While 25% of employers are considering adding a home benefit of $6,200 on average per employee in 2024, some larger businesses are already sweetening the pie: Food-processing company JBS is spending about $20 million to assist employees with housing expenses in 8 U.S. cities; Elon Musk is building hundreds of homes* for Texas workers at his companies; and Oracle is investing in a $1.2 billion Nashville riverfront campus to ease workers’ commute time.  

The perk is paying off in other ways too: About two-thirds of Americans (65%) say financial happiness is having a job they love, and among employees already receiving a housing benefit at work, 77% report high job satisfaction. 


💸 Pie in the sky: What would you do with a $1 million windfall? 

  • Invest it 

  • Add to my retirement savings 

  • Take a luxury vacation 

  • Go on a shopping spree 

  • Spread the wealth  



The million-dollar question 

What money concerns keep you up at night?  

For over a quarter of small business owners (27%*), it’s the belief they are one disaster away from shutting down. According to the latest study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, worries about a supply chain breakdown or cyberattacks rank high on the list, though inflation costs remain the biggest challenge for the past two years running. 

Nearly all Americans (86%) profess they have money questions on their minds. An ​Empower study revealed the top queries tend to focus on income and retirement, including: “How much money do I need” (63%) and “When can I retire?” (52%). 

Getting answers and having a plan can help alleviate financial stress. One way to plan ahead is to consider retirement income strategies — check out these tips to maximize your money.  


A sliver of extra credit 

When used properly, a credit card can help build credit and maintain a high credit score. But missed or late payments can quickly pile on personal debt and the “junk” fees start adding up, too — in 2022 alone, credit card companies collected more than $14 billions worth from customers. 

A swipe left on late charges may be coming at just the right time: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently announced plans to cap penalties at $8, a move that sets up Americans to save more than $10 billion a year* — $220 on average for 45 million credit card holders. Though savings could shrink if less pressure to pay on time traps consumers in a debt cycle and banks try to make up for lost revenue with other fees. 

Two-thirds* of Americans with credit card debt chase after incentives like miles, points, and cash back. With interest rates at an all-time high, implementing strategies for managing debt could reap more valuable rewards. 

Get the scoop on your money.

Stay current on planning, saving, and investing for life.

As of April 4, 2024, EAG does not hold shares of JBS Foods (JBSAY), Oracle Corporation (ORCL), or Hidden Valley [A brand of The Clorox Company (CLX)] in advisory client accounts. 

*Third-party data is obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, Empower cannot guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness, or fitness of this data for any particular purpose. Third-party links are provided solely as a convenience and do not imply an affiliation, endorsement, responsibility, or approval by Empower of the contents on such third-party websites. 

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The Currency editors

Staff contributors

The CurrencyTM, a publication from Empower, covers the latest financial news and views shaping how we live, work, and play. We keep you current on ways to plan, save, and invest for life.

The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. No part of this blog, nor the links contained therein is a solicitation or offer to sell securities. Compensation for freelance contributions not to exceed $1,250. Third-party data is obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, Empower cannot guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness or fitness of this data for any particular purpose. Third-party links are provided solely as a convenience and do not imply an affiliation, endorsement or approval by Empower of the contents on such third-party websites. 

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