How Does Your Net Worth Compare?

October 9, 2006

Have you ever wondered what your net worth should be based on your age? Although this doesn’t exactly show you what your net worth should be, it will give you an idea of what the average net worth is based on age range.

Take a look at this Family Net Worth Chart from page A8 of the Federal Reserve’s 2004 Survey (PDF):

Net Worth Median and Mean

To make it a little easier to read, I took the figures and multiplied them by 1,000 and put together the following table:

Age Range

Net Worth

Net Worth

Less than 35



35 – 44



45 – 54



55 – 64



65 – 74



75 or more



Median means that half of the households surveyed had a net worth above, and half had a net worth below the median. So, for the less than 35 group, half of those who took the survey had a household net worth of LESS THAN $14,200 and half had a net worth GREATER THAN $14,200. Notice the huge difference between the median and the average. The survey used real net worth, which is the difference between a families’ gross assets and their liabilities.

My wife and I are way above the median net worth for our age group (35 – 44) but below the average net worth for our group. That’s okay with me because we are on the young side of our age group. I fully expect us to be above average by the time we are in the upper end of our age group.

Where do you stand?

If you need help figuring out your net worth, I did a series of posts on net worth that might be helpful:


Your Net Worth Statement Part I

Your Net Worth Statement Part II

Your Net Worth Statement Part III

Your Net Worth Statement Part IV

Your Net Worth Statement Part V

111 responses to How Does Your Net Worth Compare?

  1. Just the stats:
    Age 43 Married with two kids
    Work for utility wife is school teacher
    Net worth $946,000
    Investment accounts $550,000
    Current Cash Value of Pensions 146,000
    Home Equity $250,000
    Strategy: Consistently put 15-20% of income into stock market from age 23. Never any debt besides home mortgage.

  2. Eco Scientist May 14, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    very interesting reading these posts. seems as if many of the posters have high incomes. my situation is somewhat different in that my salary is just now at 50K and I am 44 with a graduate degree. I work as a scientist in ecology in an academic setting. My wife stayed home with our only child for five years and now works in education making 70K (she also has a graduate degree). When our child was born we lived on 35K/year and still saved – albeit not much. Currently we live in a home we bought for 100K, paid off (now worth 175K) and have ~400K in investments exclusive of the house. The majority, ~275K is in IRA’s and other tax deferred accounts. We have no debt, but are not extremely rigid in our budget. We give to causes we believe in and attempt to live sustainably. Not sure how much we’ll end up with, and don’t really care, but as has been mentioned on here ad nauseum living below your means is a sure way to get yourself in position to be able to retire. I’ve only bought three cars since I started driving at 16. My Sentra lasted me 16 years and I am hoping my Prius surpasses that!

  3. Mountain climber June 10, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    I enjoyed reading all of these posts. As the chart is dated for 2004, I’m sure the fiqures have changed. I think achieving a certain net worth level is all relative to who you are & what your expectations are. I think a lot of us feel if we could have “just a little more” then everything would be good. I know people that feel they could not retire with anything less then 5 Million and others that have a goal of $300K so it all depends on lifestyle. I did want to comment on GregS about how he felt that some got money for free, I don’t think anything is free, they will earn it in one way or another. Enjoy life, save what you can because it would be a shame to not live life and then not be the one enjoying the fruits of your labor.

  4. Wow, all the net worth here are amazing. With the news stating that Americans are not saving enough and so many people are in debt, I’m so glad there are still lots of people with such a high net worth.

    In 2002 (27 years old, the year I graduated from optometry school), my net worth was -$130,000 (that’s the cost of my education). Since my parents didn’t have money, I had to finance my education with student loans. My income for 2002 was less than 20K. From 2003-2008, it was between 65-90K. I had to move to AZ to start making 100K.

    Now that I’m 35, I still owe $80,000 in student loans and have about $300,000 in savings (this includes 401k, Roth Ira, etc). I have no other assets (no homes, etc) other than my 2004 Honda Accord, which is fully paid for. The reason I’m not paying off my student loan is because the interest is only 2.635%. I figure I’ll make more if I invest my money in mutual funds or stocks.

    I still live like a college student right now. I bring lunch to work almost every day, eat out 1-2x/wk, don’t shop a lot (but I do love shopping). I’m single, no kids, not married.

    I’m behind, but hopefully I’ll catch up some day.

  5. My wife and I are both 33, and work in IT. We have about $1,300,000 in assets and about $900,000 in liabilities. In 2007, the year before we got married, our net worth was just about $1million. In 2008, when the market crashed, our net worth was about -$50,000.00. We’ve got three rental properties but we’re underwater on two of them, and above water on our main house and the third rental property.

    The fact is, even if we’re worth $400,000, with the kind of leverage we are employing, there really is no way to predict what it will be in even 12-24 months.

    I can say this, I’ve never _felt_ like a millionaire, like you might see in a fancy house on CSI:Miami, and if either of us lost our jobs, we’d probably be in deep doodoo if we didn’t go back to work.

    My hope is that when our daughter turns 18, she’ll have $1million in fixed-income securities so she can pursue whatever career she wants and not worry about having to be a wage slave like us. >:)

  6. I ready many of these posts with fascination and bemusement. I fail to understand why so many people place so much of their self-worth on their net worth. There are more important things in life than your bottom line. As for me, I live well within my means, have enough in savings for a few rainy days and own my home. More importantly but perhaps less tangible, I have my health, spirituality and a love of life.

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  8. Hi , Very good information you are providing at here . Thanks for your knowledege , it vreally helps me a lot.

  9. Average includes people who earn billions which skews the average number way up. If you excluded people earning over 10 million per year the average and median would be much closer.

    Of course the bottom half includes people who earn Zero, so if you excluded those then you would shift the average again.

    Bottom line is that both ends of the bell curve skew the results – most people are interested in where they are compared to other folks – excluding those in skid row and prison and excluding the billionaires

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