net worth by age

Average Net Worth In America: The Numbers Will Shock You

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Have you ever wondered where your net worth is compared to other people? Money is one of those taboo topics that makes it nearly impossible to just ask someone, “What is your net worth.”

For one, most people probably don’t know. And even if they did know, they’re probably not likely to just come out and tell you. People get very sensitive about money and how it relates to success in the world.

Luckily, you don’t have to go asking friends, family, and coworkers what their net worth by age is since the information is already out there. Here’s everything you need to know about net worth, what the average worth by age is, and how you can increase your net worth.

What Is Net Worth?

So, why does your net worth really matter? According to Investopedia, your net worth is a huge indicator of your overall financial health.

Here’s the definition of net worth:

“Net worth is the amount by which assets exceed liabilities. Net worth is a concept applicable to individuals and businesses as a key measure of how much an entity is worth. A consistent increase in net worth indicates good financial health; conversely, net worth may be depleted by annual operating losses or a substantial decrease in asset values relative to liabilities.”

That definition may be great if you’re studying to get a Masters in Finance, but can we please simplify that definition for people like you and I??

Net worth is everything you have minus everything you owe. If what you have (assets) adds up to a value of $500,000 and everything you owe (liabilities) totals up to $300,000 –  then your net worth is $500,000 – $300,000 = $200,000.

Net worth is such a good tool to evaluate your financial life because it includes both assets and liabilities. Instead of people asking, “What is your net worth” most people tend to ask “What do you make?”

Take into consideration that one person’s income may be $1,000,000 but they may only have a net worth of $100,000. On the contrary, another person can make $100,000 and have a net worth of $1,000,000. Net worth is always a better indicator of wealth than working income.

In fact, in the book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker states: “Rich people focus on their net worth while poor people focus on their working income.

Instead, net worth factors in assets and liabilities to give you one number that essentially determines your entire financial life, similar to a credit score. So, how do you figure out your net worth?

How To Calculate Your Net Worth?

Figuring out your net worth is very simple. You can do it manually or you can use a free app to do it all for you. Let’s start off with the free app and then walk through the manual process.

Personal Capital Net Worth App

It’s never been easier to track your net worth thanks to Personal Capital. This free tool makes it effortless to track your net worth. And the best part is that the app is 100% free!

See our full Personal Capital review here.

All you do is add your bank accounts, credit cards, and any other loans to the app. Then, it will give you a complete financial picture including your net worth in real time. Plus, you can compare yourself to others average net worth in your income bracket and age range. I also love how the app allows you to track progress towards any financial goals you set.

Not to mention the app also lets you analyze your investment fees, track your spending, and even help with your retirement options. Seriously, Personal Capital does it all!

Manual Net Worth Tracking

Even though I’m a millennial blogger who loves technology, I still find myself doing this old-fashioned method as well. Before I knew about the wonders of Personal Capital, my first net worth tracking adventures began in 2016 with a blank excel sheet.

Hands down, I can say it’s one of the best financial habits I’ve ever started. Setting up a net worth tracker is easy. Here’s what to include for your assets and liabilities.

Assets

  • Retirement accounts (Roth IRA, 401k, etc)
  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Brokerage accounts
  • Additional accounts (This could include certificate of deposits, (CD’s), money market accounts, 529’s etc.)
  • Items of substantial value (This could include things like jewelry, artwork, furniture, antiques, etc.)

Liabilities

  • Auto Loans: Your car is both is an asset and a liability. If your car is valued at $20,000 and you have $15,000 left on the loan, add the $20,000 to assets & 15,000 to the liabilities column.
  • Student Loan Debt: Make sure to include all student loan debt on your net worth tracker.
  • Home Loan (Mortgage): This is the same as the car example. Your house is both an asset and a liability. If your house is valued at $250,000 and you own $150,000 left on your loan, then add $250,000 to assets and $150,000 to liabilities.
  • Back taxes
  • Credit card debt
  • Liens or judgments against you
  • Medical debt

How often should I track my net worth?

Tracking your net worth is a very personal thing. I know some people who look at it every day similar to weighing themselves on a scale. They figure the more top of mind, the more they can focus and manage it.

Personally, I check my net worth once every 30 days. There are constant fluctuations in the stock market so I stick with monthly tracking. If you use Personal Capital it makes it easy to look whenever is convenient as the app updates automatically.

Now that you know how to track your net worth, here’s what you need to know about your net worth by age.

Net Worth By Age

As I mentioned, Personal Capital does a great job with their free tool within the app. If you’re a manual tracker, here is how you can learn more about net worth by age.

I want to remind you that everyone started in a different spot. Some people had monster student loans, others started working earlier, and others might have made some good stock picks.

The point is to not compare yourself to others.

Please remember to use these figures as a guideline. At the end of the day, you should only compare your net worth to your previous net worth. Make sure you set clear goals and take the necessary steps to achieve them. Don’t compare yourself to others for no reason.

U.S. Census Net Worth Data Study

The U.S. Census came out with a report in 2013 (unfortunately this is the latest update of it) and released the figures of the average net worth by age bracket. Again, this figure is slightly outdated but it’s the only one that is verified by the U.S. government.

Please note, these figures below include home equity as well. Here’s is the average net worth by age breakdown:

Age of Householder Median Net Worth
Under 35 years old $6,900
35 to 44 years old $45,740
45 to 54 years old $100,404
55 to 64 years old $164,498
65 to 69 years old $193,833
70 to 74 years old $225,390
65+ years old $202,950
75+ years old $197,758

Net Worth By 35

The average net worth for a 35-year old is $6,900. I’m surprised the data doesn’t start until 35 years old but it kind of makes sense. For most people, your 20’s are a time to graduate college, find a career, and start building a life. You might be starting a family and buying a house which requires a significant investment of your time and money.

So how do you compare at 35 or how did you compare? Higher? Lower?

Whatever the case, I’m sure your goal is to increase your net worth as you’re still young and can take advantage of compound interest. Not to mention, from 35-44 there a is big jump from $6,900 to $45,740 so you need to get going.

Here are three strategies to keep building wealth in your 30’s:

Create a Cash Flow Plan

The one book that changed my life forever was the Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley. I believe this book should be required reading for everyone to graduate high school.

Once you read it, you will know how important it is to create a cash flow plan (AKA budget) to reach the seven-figure club. While you might start earning more money in your 30’s, it’s so important to keep with a budget so you don’t lose control of your finances.

Use the 50/30/20 budget rule to make it easy to save and reach your financial goals. This plan allocates 50% of your budget toward fixed expenses like rent, mortgage, utilities, etc. 30% goes to variable expenses like entertainment, groceries, etc and the last 20% is used to reach your financial goals. This could include paying off debt or contributing to a retirement fund.

Refinance Student Loan Debt

When’s the last time you checked the rate of your student loan debt? If your rate is higher than 3 or 4% check out college graduates are saving money. Even a small, 1-2% decrease in your rate you will save you tons of money over the life of the loan.

Start (or Keep) Investing For Your Future

Now is the time to get serious about investing for your future. If you want to become wealthy and surpass the average net worth when you’re older, one of the best ways to invest in a 401k and/or a Roth IRA. These tools make it easy to save money for your future and take advantage of compound interest.

Net Worth By 44

A decade later, at 44 years old, the average net worth is $45,740. Roughly a thousand dollars for every year you’ve been alive. This is a time in your life where it can feel easy to spread thin with your finances.

You probably have a mortgage, home repairs, auto loans, possibly student loan debt, and a family to provide for. And statistically, you probably have credit card debt as well. If this is the case, make it a top priority to pay off that debt as soon as possible.

Here are some strategies to help you increase your net worth so you’re ahead of the average by the time you are 54.

Pay Off Credit Card Debt Fast

Credit card debt is definitely considered “bad debt” as it means you probably went past your budget and are paying 12-20% interest rates each month. See if you can reduce some costs, start a side hustle or get a low interest or zero percent balance transfer offer to start paying off your credit cards.

Keep Saving For Your Future

At this point, you want to make sure that you are heavily contributing towards your retirement accounts. If you’re married, try to have both of you contributing as much as you can to keep using the power of compound interest.

Depending on your net worth and goals you might want to open a brokerage account if you are past your maximum IRA limits and want to save even more. It might be worth even checking with a fiduciary financial advisor to make sure you are on track for the future.

Invest In Your Children

If you have kids and want to help them with going to college, make sure you start saving for this as well. Look into opening an IRA for them or using a 529 college savings plan to help get them started.

Net Worth By 54

At age 54 the average net worth is just a little over $100,000. The six-figure club should be within reach if you’ve been consistent in the past decade with your budget and savings. At this point in your life, you’re probably earning more money than ever as you’ve run a business or got promoted to a high position within a company.

Look For Better Opportunities

Did you know that if you stay with the same company sometimes you’re missing out on a lot of money for a similar role with a competitor? Fast Company found that you should plan on switching jobs every three years for the rest of your life to maximize your income.

While every three years might be a bit drastic, make sure you are staying aware of new opportunities. Catch up with friends in the industry, constantly network, and see if there are other places you can earn more money.

Invest in Rental Properties

Rental properties are a great way to grow your passive income streams and net worth. Homeowning is one thing but rental properties are a way that lots of people earn more money with little time or effort.

Plus, you can find rental property management services to take care of the minute details like collecting rent and dealing with renter issues so you don’t have to worry about it. And if you love the house you can always live in it in the future as well.

Sell Your Services

At this point in life, you’ve got a ton of skills that people will pay to learn. If you want to provide paid mentoring services to help people this is a great way to earn more money and help others. Whether you’ve worked in management, helped scale a business or are an entrepreneur, there are plenty of younger people who want to learn the craft.

Net Worth By 64 (and Beyond)

At the age of the average net worth rises to a little over $164,000. This is a big jump in ten years but most likely it has to do with your investment accounts.

Don’t forget the power of compounding as you get older. Warren Buffett is 83 years old and worth around $70 billion at the time of this post. While it makes him one of the richest people on the planet, 99% of his net worth came after the age of 50!

At this point, you should have a pretty good clue about when you retire and what you will do with your time. The second part is equally as important as your retirement party. You should have a plan for how you will spend your day to make sure you are fulfilled when you don’t have to go work anymore. Likely, you’ve worked your whole life and it will be a huge transition so make sure you are prepared.

Here are some things you can consider now that you’re nearing or already retired.

Downsize Your House

Of course, this is 100% optional but if you have an empty nest you might have more house than you care to deal with. Plus, if you’re retired you don’t have to live anywhere specific. You could even have two houses or travel in an RV or by boat. Whatever you want!

Shift Your Asset Allocation

At this age you probably want to get out of most stocks or stock funds and have your investments in safer investments as you don’t have the time horizon you did in your 30’s or 40’s.

3 Biggest Takeaways From on Net Worth

1. Net Worth is MORE Important than Working Income

As important as your income is, your net worth is still more important. You and I have both seen the highest paid celebrities in our society go flat broke after making millions of dollars. Your income is a measure of right now whereas your net worth is a measure of right now AND your future.

2. Don’t Let Yourself Become the Average

A recent CNBC study shows that a 32-year-old millennial who plans on retiring at age 67 with a million dollars will actually be below the poverty line once you factor in inflation.

Therefore, the average net worth of $164,000 would feel like $344,000 in 30 years if adjusted for inflation at 2.5%.

As you can see, the average net worth will put you below the poverty line.

3. Owning a Home Plays a Huge Role

It really pays to own your home and build equity. While some people don’t want the responsibility that comes with being a homeowner, it is a huge factor in increasing your net worth. Take a look at the graph below to see the percentage of total home equity compared to the average net worth.

Age of Householder Home Equity % of Total
Under 35: $2,762 40.03%
35 – 44 $27,543 60.22%
45 – 54: $61,778 61.53%
55 – 64: $97,951 59.55%
65 – 69: $127,665 65.86%
70 – 74: $156,674 69.51%
65+: $145,150 71.52%
75+: $150,822 76.27%

10 Easy Ways to Increase Your Net Worth

Now that you’ve seen all the different net worth by ages, here are some tricks to help you increase your net worth, regardless of your age. Whether you just graduated college and have a mountain of student loan debt, or you’re in your mid-40’s, these money tips will help you increase your net worth.

I want you to end up with more than enough money for retirement and not have to work at a job that you will probably hate. Start using these steps now and take action. I promise your future self will thank you tremendously!

1. Start a Side Business

It’s been said that the average millionaire has seven streams of income. How many do you have outside your paycheck? Diversifying your income streams is a great way to increase your net worth and protect yourself if you were to unexpectedly lose your job.

Check out this epic list of side hustles to start adding more money towards your net worth by paying off debt (liabilities) and increasing your savings (assets). It is not as difficult as it sounds to get started with a side hustle and very quickly generate even an extra $500 per month!

2. Invest in Real Estate

A large amount of the net worth in the table above is directly related to equity in a home. According to Kiplinger, homeowners are richer than renters. And it makes sense.

When you buy a home you have to pay the down payment which is usually 5-20% of the total home value. Then, as you pay the mortgage a portion of the payment goes to the principal which is basically paying yourself. And historically, homes increase anywhere from 2-5% in value each year.

All things considered, if you plan on staying somewhere for more than a year or two and have your finances in shape, look at becoming a first-time homeowner. Not only will it help you increase your net worth but also help with taxes as well.

You may also want to listen to Episode 92 of the Money Peach Podcast: How to Pay Off Mortgage in 2-5 Years on Your Current Income

3. Don’t Keep Up With The Joneses

So many people limit their ability to vastly increase their net worth because of pointless spending on new clothes, cars, and homes. Keeping up with the “Joneses” is a recipe for disaster.

4. Invest in Yourself

As the iconic John C Maxwell said, “Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not. WHen I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it’s almost always due to personal growth.”

The more you know, the more skills you have, and the more connections you acquire, the more valuable you are in the world. Invest in yourself by attending events, seminars, and reading books that will help you grow.

The more you grow and develop, the more you can give back and get rewarded for your efforts. The most wealthy and successful people in the world are constantly growing, developing, and learning new skills which almost directly correlate to increasing their net worth.

Do something today your future self will thank you for!

5. Pay Down Your Debt

Debt crushes your ability to grow your net worth. Make paying off debt a major priority, especially bad debt like credit cards.

If you have a credit card balance with $5,000 and an APR of 22% you’re spending $1,000 each year just in interest alone! Use a balance transfer to get your card to a 0% rate if possible or stop saving just to pay off high-cost debt. Often times, your investment contribution rates can’t offset the high prices of credit cards.

6. Start Saving…Now!

Compound interest is one of the keys to growing your net worth. The sooner you can invest and start applying compound interest to your savings, the higher the likelihood of drastically increasing your net worth.

7. Don’t Touch Your Retirement Accounts

While you can use a 401K loan for the right circumstances, you shouldn’t think of this as a backup emergency fund. If you take the money out of your retirement account it loses the power of compounding over time and missing out on any investment gains.

Try to keep your appropriately titled “retirement funds” for your retirement, not a spending spree.

8. Pay Yourself First

As the legendary investor Warren Buffett said, “Don’t save what is left after spending. Spend what is left after saving.” Paying yourself first is one of the easiest and most effective ways to drastically increase your net worth.

Think of this as one of the cornerstones to financial success. Paying yourself first ensures that you don’t give into temptation each time you get paid. Automation contributions and direct deposits make it easy to stay focused toward reaching your financial goals.

Plus 401k’s and IRA’s make it easy to pay yourself first with automatic contributions. Select the amount of money you want to save each paycheck and it will automatically get deducted. Even if you feel you can’t save, try to start with 2-4%. You can also increase in the future but even getting into the habit of saving create momentum to increasing your net worth.

9. Learn About Money

Have you ever noticed that once you start regularly tracking and learning about something you tend to understand it much quicker? For example, if you’re learning to play an instrument or learn a new program at work, you catch on after reading, learning, and experimenting. You get better with experience.

The same goes for investing. At the beginning of my investing journey it felt like I was reading hieroglyphics. I literally didn’t’ know what a stock was, how to open a Roth IRA or how to save for retirement. It was a completely different language.

But I knew that if I wanted to not work when I’m older I needed to learn this new financial language. I bought books, read blogs, watched TV shows, and just started investing. As I got more confident I began to pick individual stocks, learn about index funds, and even trade options.

And it all started with nothing. If you want to increase your net worth you have to become familiar with money. You need to make learning about money a major priority. It’s true, the more you learn, the more you earn.

10. Track It Regularly

Prior to 2015 I never tracked my net worth. Thankfully around that time I started my first personal finance blog after searching for ways to improve my finances. It was then I learned the power of tracking your net worth.

If you’re trying to change anything in your life it’s super important to track it on a consistent basis. Want to lose weight? Track your calories eaten and workouts completed. Want to grow your net worth? Track your spending, saving, and investment returns.

And now, thanks to Personal Capital, it’s never been easier to track your net worth! Once you input all of your account information it makes it super simple to log in and see how everything is doing. You Can view your savings, spending, investing returns, and pretty much anything else.

Learn more about Personal Capital here.

Final Thoughts

As you can tell, there are a lot of different factors when it comes to understanding your net worth. The biggest takeaway I hope you get from this piece is to just start being aware of your net worth. Whether you are -$30,000 or worth $1,000,000, monitoring your net worth makes you more likely to take action and change it.

Some of the best personal finance bloggers started out documenting their debt payoff journey by starting a blog and inspiring others to do the same. Once you become aware of anything and set a goal for what you want, you can achieve it.

Again, remember that these figures are slightly outdated but still a good benchmark if you’ve ever wondered what is a “good” net worth by age. Ultimately, make sure that you are only comparing your net worth vs. your previous net worth. Don’t waste time and energy comparing yourself to others.

Use that time and energy to earn more money, pay off debt, save more money, invest, and work hard toward achieving your financial goals. And make sure to sign up for Personal Capital to make it easy to monitor and track your net worth moving forward.

What do you think about these figures? Were you surprised by the average net worthy be each age?

Please let us know in the comments!

 


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  1. Steveark
    Steveark says:

    Those are the scariest numbers I’ve even seen! Those people going into their sixties with less than $200,000 are going to seriously struggle considering that most of them do not have pensions. Social Security is going to help but for people to retire early, like my wife and I did, it is not an option until at least 62 so you have to have a good bit more than $200,000 unless you are a master frugalist. Informative post and always a great podcast!

    Reply

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