Making financial progress involves keeping track of your net worth, even if knowing that number is a much-needed reality check. When you know your net worth, you can set a realistic financial goal. In the digital age, tracking your net worth is less complicated than it once was.
First of all, let’s find out what exactly “net worth” means.
Net worth is a calculation used to uncover your overall financial health. Understanding what your net worth is and how you stack up against others in your age group will help you gauge how much you can spend versus save on an annual basis.
Simply put, net worth is the difference between your assets and debts. So, by adding up your assets, adding up your debts, and then subtracting total debts from total assets, you arrive at a number which is your net worth.
Let’s take a look at average net worth by age and see how you stack up:
In your 30s
The financial decisions you make in your 30s will lay the foundation for the net worth you can achieve later in life.
According to the Federal Reserve, the average net worth for families in the U.S. under the age of 35 was $76,200 in 2016. But keep in mind that the average is skewed by a small percentage of affluent Americans. The median net worth was $11,100. With the average student loan debt at $32,731 per person, it’s no wonder why people might have a lower net worth in their 30s.
In your 40s
The average net worth for families between the ages of 35 and 44 in 2016 was $288,700, while the median was reported at $59,800. While the average and median are only guidelines, they should help you understand where you stand against other families in your age group.
A good way to base your net worth goal is to shoot for having a net worth twice the amount of your annual salary. In other words, if you earn $100,000 per year, then the goal would be to have a net worth of $200,000.
In your 50s
By the time you’re in your 50s, your wealth should begin to build significantly based on contributions to your retirement accounts, real estate, and other investments. The goal would be for your net worth to be four times your annual salary.
In your 60s
In keeping with the trend of increasing net worth as you age, the goal for your sixties would be to have a net worth six times your salary.
According to the Federal Reserve, the average net worth for Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 is $1,167,400, while the median is at $187,300.
By the time you retire (on average at about age 65), your goal is to have 80% of your current salary saved for every year after you retire. The Federal Reserve reports that the average net worth for Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 is $1,066,000, however, the median net worth is $224,000.
Whatever your age, keeping track of your net worth is an important step in staying on top of your personal finances.
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