Average Net Worth By Age: Where Do You Stand?

Average net worth by age

Net worth can be a pretty intense topic. Most of us know our net worth isn't as high as Beyonce’s, but do you know your average net worth by age comparison?

According to a survey by the Federal Reserve, the average net worth of Americans is $746,820, although that varies by race. White Americans have a net worth average of $980,550, while the average net worth of Blacks and Hispanics is $142,330 and $165,540, respectively, as of 2019. That’s a huge difference.

Keep in mind that ultimately, your net worth goals depend on what you want to accomplish financially from a personal perspective. So as you review your net worth comparison by each age, keep your unique objectives in mind. This article is just to guide you, not to set any rules.

What is net worth?

Net worth is how much you owe versus how much you own. Basically, it calculates how wealthy you are. Net worth is very important for retirement, and knowing what your target net worth by age should be will help you better understand how to reach your personal financial goals.

Is your net worth income?

Keep in mind that your net worth is very different from your income. Your income is essentially how much you earn from work and if you stop working, your income sharply declines. Your net worth on the other hand doesn't have to change much even if you aren't actively working.

What does net worth include?

Net worth includes your assets and your liabilities. Subtract your liabilities from your assets to get your net worth.

Your assets include everything from the cash in your bank accounts, to the value of your stock portfolios and the market value of anything tangible that you own such as a house or a car. It also includes valuables like art or jewelry. The most important thing about assets is that they have monetary value.

A big part of net worth assets is saving money. If you are curious about how much savings you should have by age, we have an article that breaks it down.

Your liabilities are your debts. Your total liabilities include your student loans, credit card debt, mortgage, and car loans. Any medical debt, personal loans, or back taxes are also considered liabilities.

Notes about assets

Assets like stocks can fluctuate quickly. If you own a lot of stocks, keep in mind that your exact net worth could vary depending on the value of the stock market. Also, keep in mind certain types of assets depreciate over time, like cars and electronics.

Net worth contributors

Many things can make your net worth higher, but keeping low liabilities (debt) and growing your assets will determine your net worth number. Here are some major contributors.

Education

People with MBA's tend to have a higher net worth than anyone among their higher education peers. There is also some evidence that dropping out and not getting a high school diploma lowers earning potential. So, college graduates may find that their net worth is higher in some cases.

Individual factors

There are plenty of exceptions to education and net worth. Many wealthy and successful people have dropped out of school and gone on to make a huge amount of money. The biggest contributor to your net worth is intentionality.

How to calculate your net worth?

Your net worth is calculated by deducting your liability amount from the total worth of your assets. Basically, it's what is left over if you were to sell all of your assets and pay off your debts.

To calculate your net worth, you should first list all of your assets and liabilities. It’s important to note the market value of your assets, i.e. what they are currently worth.

Calculate your assets and liabilities

You can use a simple spreadsheet to calculate the total of your assets and liabilities. Everything that you own and can make a profit from (assets) and everything you owe and need to pay back (liabilities). Deduct your liabilities from your assets, and what’s left over is your net worth.

Best net worth calculators

Net worth calculators can make the math simpler when finding net worth. You can do a net worth comparison after looking at the statistics about net worth by age. Here are a couple of our favorite calculators:

Nerd Wallet

Nerd Wallet's calculator gives you a chance to see your net worth. It features columns for assets and liabilities and presents the information in a clear way.

AARP

AARP has a calculator that is informative and uses percentages to help you find your net worth easily. Plus, you can see your future net worth projections.

Calculate Stuff

Calculate Stuff features a straightforward calculator to find your net worth fast. It lets you add in different asset and liability categories.

Determining your average net worth by age

In order to get control of your finances, it’s vital to understand where your net worth by age should be. To do that, you can look at the average net worth of Americans in your age group, figure out where you want your net worth to be by the time you retire, and calculate if you are on track to meet your goals.

Before we get into the average net worth by age, remember that the average can be skewed by high net worth individuals. A better metric to go by is the median. However, both are just one indicator of wealth.

Below, I'll break down the average net worth by various age buckets based on recent data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances.

Average net worth by age 30

The net worth average for families under the age of 35 is $76,300 while the median is $13,900, as of 2019. When you’re in your late 20s and 30s it’s normal to not have a lot of wealth. You may even have a negative net worth at this age.

You could still be paying off your student loan debt and you’re just getting started in your career. A good measure is to try and have a net worth of at least one times your income, according to ally.com, by the time you’re 30.

Homeowners at this age also likely haven't built up much home equity in their house yet. That's fine; it takes time to do this. Just keep building wealth at this stage.

Increase net worth in your 30s

Some good ways to increase your net worth in your 30s include contributing to retirement and investments because right now they have a long time to grow. And don't forget to have an emergency fund saved.

Staying away from debt is also encouraged so you can keep your net worth number positive. Try to build up your income in your 30s because you can use the extra for investing.

Average net worth by age 40

The average net worth for people between the ages of 35 and 44 is $436,200, while the median is $91,300.

By the time you turn 40, you should try to have at least three times your income in net worth, according to fidelity.com. So if you make $80,000 a year, you should have $160,000 in assets.

You don't have to have $160,000 in cash or stocks. You can also increase your net worth by investing in real estate, whether it’s by buying a home for your family or buying a home to rent out. Check out these financial goals by 40 that you can consider.

Increase net worth in your 40s

Your 40s are a great time to build wealth and buy assets. If you have debt like a home mortgage or car loans, now is the time to pay them off so nothing will stand in your way. Obviously, continue to try and increase your income, as well.

Average net worth by age 50

On average, Americans between 45 and 54 have a net worth of $833,200, while the median is $168,600.

By the time you're 50, it’s advised to have a net worth of six times your salary, according to investopedia.com, though this can vary depending on the salary. While this seems like a lot, you can easily get there if you start investing and saving your money early on.

Increase net worth in your 50s

If you haven’t been able to take advantage of compound interest, now is the time to try and save more aggressively in your investment accounts and retirement accounts. You will likely want to retire in the next decade, so it's important to save and invest as much as possible while also not being too risky.

Average net worth by age 60

The net worth average for Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 is $1,175,900 and the median is $212,500. Your retirement savings and investment portfolio should be well established by now.

When you turn 60, you should have a net worth that's six times up to eleven times your annual salary, according to troweprice.com. You’ll be close to retirement, if not already retired, so it’s important that you have enough assets to sustain you for the rest of your life.

Increase net worth in your 60s

While you can still invest in your 60s, it's definitely a time to take on less risk because of being close to retirement years. Instead, it's time to pay off any remaining debts, focus on protecting your investment portfolio, and add to it as you can.

How to reach your net worth goals

If you’re not anywhere near the above numbers, don’t fret. The net worth by age numbers are there as guidelines. There are a number of things you can do to reach your net worth and retirement goals.

Budget

The first thing to do to increase your net worth average is to make a budget. Save as much as possible and don’t overspend. Start by identifying areas where you can cut back on your spending. Then set up a budget and stick to it.

Types of budgets to try

There are a number of different budgeting methods out there. The most common is the 50/30/20 rule. Essentially, 50% of your income should go towards essentials, like housing and food, while 30% should go towards your wants, like shopping and travel, and 20% should go towards savings.

Some extremely frugal people save everything they don't use for bills and expenses. And there are other types of budgets you can consider, like zero-based budgets, for which you budget every single dollar every pay period. Find a method that you like and use that.

Pay off debt

If you have a lot of debt, you have a lot of liabilities. The higher your liabilities, the less your net worth. Figure out how much you owe, including credit card balances, and make a plan to get rid of debt.

To increase your net worth, pay off your debt. Start first with high-interest debt, then move to your student loans, mortgage, etc. You can try out the debt snowball method or the avalanche method to pay off debt quickly.

Save money for emergencies and short to mid-term goals

Having a nice cushion of cash can also increase your net worth. It’s a good idea to have an emergency fund anyway, so if you don’t have one, get started! You can start saving for things that are important to you using a savings account or several of them to save for separate things.

Save about three to six months' worth of living expenses so you’re prepared for whatever life throws your way. You can also save for short goals, like a vacation fund, or mid-term goals like saving for a downpayment on a house.

Invest for the long term

Another way to increase your net worth is by having a long-term investment. You can do this in a number of ways. You can invest directly in the stock market, or buy shares of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) or even mutual funds.

Another long-term investment is real estate. Buy your dream house or buy a couple of different properties as an investment, or if you don’t want to buy property directly, you can invest in what is called a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). A REIT company purchases and manages properties and gives out a return to investors.

Basically, you want your total assets to be set up in such a way that you will be ready for retirement when the day comes.

Remember that net worth doesn’t tell the whole story

Calculating your net worth average by age is just one way to determine your wealth. Knowing the average net worth comparison by age is a good guideline to have, but it isn’t everything. Don’t feel demotivated if your net worth comparison is not near where you want it to be.

Use the average net worth of Americans to inspire yourself to figure out a solid financial plan to catch up. And check out our podcast, Clever Girls Know, to be more informed about your finances.

Scroll to Top