MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A new study shows net worth among American households has dropped to $57,000, a 43-year low.

It can’t all be blamed on the recession or falling stock values. Experts say some of it has to do with the amount of debt we’re comfortable with having these days.

In the midst of the holiday shopping season, researchers say we don’t have as much money to spend as we used to, and a big reason is our comfort level with debt.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Laura Oakes Reports

“I saw my neighbor buy a bigger house and take on debt, and they seemed to be okay. Eventually we all start doing it,” said University of St. Thomas Finance Professor David Vang.

Vang said the amount of debt the average household take on these days would’ve been unheard of just a few decades ago. It also doesn’t help, he said, that student loan debt is exploding with loans following them into their 50s and even 60s.

In some cases, it even surpasses their credit card debt.