Net Worth by Age Percentile Rank Calculator

Rank your net worth to specific age groups to see where you stand or where you project yourself to be in the future. Use the percentiles to compare your net-worth to US households using data from 2016. To use this calculator, enter the age ranges of the head of households you would like to restrict your comparison to and a net worth value to rank with in that age range. Read about how closely this calculator matches official US Treasury published statistics.

Starting Comparison Age:
Ending Comparison Age:

If you need help calculating your net worth, try out How to Calculate your Net Worth for a guided tool. It will ask for you assets, such as stocks and savings accounts, and subtract your liabilities, such as loans, to figure out your net worth for you. You can take that number back to this page to compare your net worth to others.

Net Worth Summary Statistics for Households Aged 18 to 100

Scroll up to enter changes to your wealth.

Net Worth Percentile Rank : A net worth of $0.00 for ages 18 to 100 ranks at the 11.4%
Median Net Worth : $97,700.00
Mean Net Worth : $679,913.00
Net Worth 25th - 75th Percentile Ranges : $10,310.00 to $377,090.00

Net Worth Percentiles by Age

For reference, here is how much net worth you would have to have to rank at certain percentiles for ages 18 to 100
PercentileNet Worth (in Dollars)
If you are interested in tracking your net worth over time, I use Personal Capital - The Flexible, Smart Alternative to Quicken (Sponsored Link). Personal Capital will securely connect to your accounts and archive account values so that you can track and optimize your progress in saving. It is free for tracking, but they charge a fee if you want them to manage your assets with an investor.

Net Worth Visualizations

Common Searches

Networth Comparison for Ages 55 to 65
Networth Comparison for Ages 30 to 30
Networth Comparison for Ages 40 to 50
Networth Comparison for Ages 60 to 65
Networth Comparison for Ages 50 to 60
Networth Rank for $1,000,000
Networth Rank for $2,000,000
Networth Rank for $5,000,000
Networth Rank for $3,000,000
Networth Rank for $4,000,000

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These results are based off of 6248 individual samples where the head of household was age 18 to 100 and are weighted to represent 125981700 American households. The SCF is known to be slightly biased towards higher incomes values, which the Federal Reserve attempts to correct for by adjusting the weighting of each individual response. Keep this in mind if the number of responses your output is based off of is low, or if you are looking at the tail ends of the data--like the top 1% or bottom 1%.

The numbers are based off of the results of the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances by the Federal Reserve. I used R to separate one of the five imputations with the sample replicatant weights from the Federal Reserve. If you want to do your own analysis check out the raw data, and also check out this guide on how to import the data into R The number of samples per age vary quite a bit, so you might get unusual results for certain ages.

Net Worth Links and Addendums

  • Update: September 2017, the data now reflects the 2016 SCF data. Median net worth has risen around 16% (adjust for inflation). Some of the age ranges look a little more irregular than usual, so I will be on the lookout for any additional updates from the Federal Reserve. As of 2/24/2018 there have been no updates to the data that was published.
  • Update: August 2017, I’m updating some of the net worth graphs in anticipation for the 2016 SCF data that should be released at the end of August or beginning of September. I’ve also deleted some of the visualizations that were slowing down the webpage without really adding a lot.  Sign up for the email list if you would like to be notified when we update the data!
  • Mark Twain once said that “Comparison is the death of joy.” Net worth is an important metric but it doesn’t define you.
  • One interesting tid-bit about net worth is that the median net worth for a 30 year old has dropped by over half in the last 10 years.
  • Read about the overall distribution of net worth by age. The article compares the 25th to 75th percentiles in net worth

125 thoughts on “Net Worth by Age Percentile Rank Calculator”

  1. What would your pension be worth if you died tomorrow? Nothing unless you can leave a portion of it to your spouse or children! Pensions should be treated as a source of annual income but not as part of net worth. Look at it this way, if you were to liquidate your assets, what would you have left.

    1. To omit a pension from a net worth calculation results in a meaningless number in my opinion. I’m worth $3.5 million without discounting the stream of pension income I am likely to receive to present value or maybe $4.5 million if you include it. For planning purposes, I shouldn’t ignore my pension.

      1. Too bad. I really hope for you that nobody depends on you and your savings. Unless you are under 40 you have a big financial problem. I’m 34 and with $15MM net worth I think I’m all set. Still, best of luck to you and your loved ones. Maybe you should consider working till 70 or 75.

        1. That’s one of the most foolish and pithy responses I’ve seen here, Abner Barnes. Someone with a $4.5M net worth at any age could live off of $135,000/year in perpetuity while their assets and future income continues to grow. That places them in the 4th percentile in America, which is one of the richest nations on earth.

          You’ve only proven through your insulting comments that wealth provides no indication of class. I feel sorry for you. At 34, you should possess some degree of maturity.

          1. Clearly, one doesn’t attain a net worth $15MM at age 34 without the help of MOMMY AND DADDY. I wouldn’t expect maturity from such a turd.

          2. Alas, if a good part of that net worth is in your residence, which doesn’t provide liquid dividends or interest, your 3% guide will not work. And I imagine most folks worth $4.5M aren’t living in a $50K shack.

          3. Agreed. A stream of periodically recurring income into the future is an asset. That is what a pension or any other type of recurring stream of income is. The PV of that asset is what should be considered as the current net value. So, a more important question is: “what discount rate should i be using to calculate the PV of my pension?” I use a discount factor of 3.5% that represents inflation and a partial risk free rate. Also, if there are indexed Cost of Living increases, then one must use the Multi Period Excess Earnings method of PV to capture the increases out in time.

            Certainly, there is value in a stream of recurring payments. The key is to calculate its current value (Present Value) accurately and reasonably.

        2. Ah, a $15MM net worth is cute, but hardly adequate. Mine is closer to $150MM. Best of luck in your journey out of poverty!

          1. Mr Buffett here, my net worth of $85B puts you to shame Cecil….

            I feel so sorry for you that I’m going to give away 99% and still be worth more than you + your parents + your siblings. Hope that your McD job sticks around because I need some warm hashbrowns when I head into the office

        3. That is certainly the most condescending comment I’ve seen on this site, which is otherwise informative and supportive. Other than the bragging sentence, everything else is insulting, and even the single non-insulting sentence is intended to elevate Abner above others, as this site will have already told him that $15M puts him almost in the top 1%, and in the top 0.1% for early 30’s. Can’t we elevate our discourse here? Trevor’s achievements are remarkable and worth celebrating, not belittling or trolling.

        4. Except Mr. Barnes… you are such a five-star you will probably lose all your $ before you turn 40

          Scottsdale millionaire… sheesh

        5. Dear Abner (He, His, Her, Her’s, etc.)

          Judging from your smugness, I would put a high probability on the reality of your stated net worth being from elicit activities. And another high probability on the reality that you are a liar.

          Also, your smugness and willingness to lash out at someone that you do not know with your spewing stream of self centered vitriol is a sure sign of NPD.

          Do you know what that is, my young friend?

          The highest probability of all is that your NPD sickness will cost you all of your net worth and you will live a life of anger and destitution.

          Pity for all that to happen to such a wonderful person Abner, don’t you think?

          Kind Regards-

        6. I’m sure you had help with your net worth from Mommy and dad I think this is for people who earned all their net worth on they’re own with no help from others!

      2. I agree with you. To not count a pension is crazy. I have about $800000 in savings and will get a pension of about 100% of my teachers salary (I’ve worked 37 years, with a masters degree teaching math, doing summer school and computer programming side gig jobs.) I don’t care what anyone says, I’m retiring on $180000 a year, with built-in inflation adjusters for life, and that’s just fine. If I live 20 years, that’s $3600000 — excluding my tract house. Comparatively speaking, I worked for every last nickel and anything I have left is going to the poor and needy, which is about 90% of everyone I’ve ever known. Many of these people on this blog sound greedy and most seem unhinged.

      3. Get Real! Net Worth is current value of your assets. SS, Pensions, and Life Insurance all factor into your cash flow but only adds to net worth as you consume it.

    2. I believe that’s a short-sighted way of looking at things. There is an “expected value” associated with a fixed income.

      Let’s take a common example of one of the best pensions available. Officers in the military commonly retire after 20 years of service, assuming they are in the 17% that get there. (

      After 20 years, most retiring officers will attain the rank of LTC and will receive 50% of their previous 3 years of pay, which can be found here: That works out to $4,243.30 per month for the remainder of their lives.

      Assuming they entered the military directly after college at the age of 22, they would retire at the age of 42, and their life expectancy at that age would be 36.76 years. (

      Military retirements are adjusted for inflation each year based on CPI-W. While popular perception is that the retirement loses spending power over time, I do not have any good data to support that belief. Therefore, in terms of the net present value of the retirement paid, we can simply add all of the annual pay over that period. 36.76 * 12 * 4,243.30 = $1,871,804.

      Another way to determine the present value is to approximate the current IRA investment (taxed as normal income upon withdrawal) necessary to sustain the same income. A common bit of advice is to take 4% of investments per year in income. That would work out to a current investment of $1,272,990. Of course, the situations are not the same because as you said, the lump sum provides more flexibility. However, I would argue that the pension, backed by the United States and adjusted for inflation, provides more security. So, I think considering the value of the military retirement for an LTC at 20 years as falling between those two amounts is fair.

      I will retire from the military around the age of 44, and based on the above, if the military offered me $ 1/2M that would directly add to my liquid net worth in exchange for the pay, I wouldn’t hesitate to turn them down.

      Another way of looking at it is that if 1 guy has $1M, and another guy has $1M + a $50k/year pension, which one has the higher net worth? I suppose in the absolute sense, it’s the same. However, which one is really in a position to use those assets? The one with the pension can invest more aggressively, be approved for loans more easily, make large purchases while remaining more secure, retire earlier, etc… In almost every way, that person with the pension’s decisions and actions are identical to someone with a higher absolute net worth. Therefore, if the pension is not taken into account when considering net worth or at least mentioned in the answer along with the absolute net worth, then there is no point to considering net worth at all.

      In the end, analyzing net worth is just getting a metric of financial flexibility and capability. An indefinite fixed income should be included in consideration of someone’s net worth.

      1. Reasonable, but you can’t just add all the future monthly payments. You have to discount the future payments to get their net present value, even if they are inflation adjusted. If you discount the future cash flows at 4%, you get to a NPV of $937,000. At 2%, you get a NPV of $1.25MM…
        If you think about it, you already know why…A $ in hand can be used today to begin earning additional return for you. A $ you receive in 34 years, even if inflation adjusted, cannot start earning money for you.
        As far as your networth, you are in the 95th percentile of all families. Not bad.

    3. But you generally can liquidate your pension. Companies will buy it for the expected present value minus their take. The value isn’t zero.

    4. Depends on the pension. Mine has options (50%, 75%, 100) to give my spouse continued payments after my death if I accept a lower payment.

  2. Great job Ken! Did you have any inheritance or expenses related to children? I had both so it can contribute a lot of variance to Net Worth.

  3. That’s all well and good Scott but the older you get the less attractive rental income becomes due to rising property taxes and repairs not to mention new locations taking business away from you. The stock market has given me a 10% annual gain over the last 10 years. $3,200 a month is low compared to the average of $5,000 requirement for those reaching retirement.

  4. Should anyone with a pension look into if their pension has a lump sum option? What are the positives and negatives of taking the lump sum if offered?

    1. Go ahead and check it out if your plan offers that. I did, and the lump sum was a fraction of the calculated net present value (about 1/5 as I recall).

    1. In plain terms…
      (The value of your residence) – (Amount owed against residence) = amount you add to your net worth

    2. I don’t think so! I believe that ONLY cash holdings and net assets of self made people like me should count! The other measurements have WAY too many variables, and include WAY too many BRATS born into privilege, good fortune, and wealth! Living off others is’nt a measurement of your work or wealth, it is a measurement of the sweat equity and wealth of OTHERS whose bodies YOU were fortunate enough to come OUT of!

        1. Um, Rick is right. Look up median and it says denoting or relating to a value or quantity lying at the midpoint of a frequency distribution of observed values or quantities, such that there is an equal probability of falling above or below it, excluding brats.

      1. Rick

        A mortgage over time has certainly absorbed money that I could have invested elsewhere. But timing has been good, so I have no complaints here in the Boston area. Real estate is usually a leveraged asset on many levels. Not sure what your point is. Your Brat comments also don’t apply to most people that have worked their asses off to own a home and build up equity.

        1. Chris

          I’m one of those homeowners, and an heir. But, by the time I did come into increased wealth, I’d already gotten myself into a primary residence, financed it myself, and leveraged the equity to get another 1.5 houses. Plenty like me out there who haven’t been afraid of a little hard work (or a lot) and I am extraordinarily fortunate and grateful for what I have. Case in point, I’d rather be a kind, happy and grateful heir than a bitter, salty man who earned every penny he has.

      2. lol.. sure buddy, if that makes you feel better.

        In the real world, net worth is just that….. net worth.. i.e. assets – liabilities
        whether they are your own or inherited from someone else.

    3. Some “experts” say no. But an asset is an asset, I take 80 percent value of house minus outstanding mortgage. this is a conservative valuation.

  5. I would argue that time with loved ones, doing the things you love, is the most valuable thing in the world (assuming basic food/shelter), and MONEY IS TIME. I’m still having to work as I don’t yet have enough invested assets to live off of the passive income, and I wish I had that time to spend with my children, especially while they’re still small. However, in order to really have that time, I need more money.

    1. When John Madden of the Oakland Raiders Football team retired from coaching he said he wanted to spend more time with his family. After a couple of years he went into broadcasting and when someone asked him about his family he said, “spending more time with your family is one of the most overrated things in the world.” Just because you want to spend more time with them doesn’t mean they want to spend more time with you.

  6. Some people will go on about how being rich isn’t the same as being happy, and that true wealth is family and the basics and blah blah.
    I think we all get that. But as a person who started with a net worth of negative thousands, to being decently wealthy, I can tell you that wealthy is better.
    Now if you can’t balance your health or time with your family, that’s on you.

    1. I went from broke to financially independent and the challenge I see is when do you take your foot off the gas and start appreciating your limited existence rather than just downing coffees and running to the next meeting. I think I just wrote my longest sentence, check.

      1. Do you apply any inflation factors to the 2013 data… not that there really has been all that much inflation since the last survey.

        1. No adjustments for inflation have been made. If you want to adjust using the CPI, $1 in 2013 is equal to $1.06 in 2017.

  7. I went to college for one year and dropped out because I didn’t want to be average. I am 48 years old and was worth just over $1M at age 30, over $10M at age 37, down to only $4M at age 40 and now north of $30M. I did it investing in real estate. Most people in real estate have wealthy parents but I do not have wealthy parents, I did it myself with hard work and persistence. 40% persistence, 40% salesmanship and 20% intuition. Frugality can make anyone wealthy over time despite what your income is. Even someone making $50k/year can become wealthy if they just spend less than they make and save and let it compound. Most people spend everything they make no matter how much they make and wonder why they aren’t wealthy. The vast majority of doctors and lawyers make a good living but spend it all as fast as they make it and have insignificant net worths. The opposite of this is the mailman who retires as a millionaire because he knew how to live within his means and saves and over time he became wealthy. The media and all of society teaches consipicous consumption as the norm as opposed to deferred gratification which is a recipe for disaster and even our local sate and federal goverments are unable to practice the simple math of spending less money than they bring in. I am hopeful that more people learn how to save or else most people will end up having to eat cat food when they get old because they didn’t save for the future and the government will not have the money to save them!

    1. Well said Mark. I second . . . Most folks dont realize they have a well crafted financial plan already . . . written by every conceivable vendor . . . it is designed to help them part with their resources rather than live below means and invest the difference. THE most important ingredient in wealth building is a keen understanding of the line between wants and needs. I am all for the occasional splurge but absent consistantly living below means, any effort at wealth building will fail.

    2. I also built a fortune with limited means by carefully but aggressively using debt as leverage to buy real estate and manage it. Persistence and discipline are key, if you have them then time is on your side.

  8. I had a traditional job for a long time, and ended up with plenty of money to retire on ($2.7M+ invested) + a small pension. It is true that money (by itself) will not make you happy, but MONEY DOES GIVE YOU ONE THING – CHOICES! And when you’re 60, CHOICES CAN MAKE YOU HAPPY! So I guess, indirectly, the choices money provides you, can make you happier. I’m not what I would consider “rich” ($2.7M); had a traditional life with the same wife, 3 daughters (and now 5 grandchildren). I paid for their undergraduate degrees (they all went on to get Masters (paid by employers/state)), so they wouldn’t have to start life out digging out of a debt hole, like I did.

  9. I am reviewing the net worth of millenials age 18 to 30.I find it quite interesting that there are fewer millenials in the 1.3 million to 5 million range then there are in the 5.1 million and above range.Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.By the way your website is excellent.

    1. Athletes maybe? There’s got to be a lot more opportunity for a lot 25 year old to make it rich in sports than anything else.

  10. My wife and I agreed on financial priorities early in our now 35 year marriage. We met in college, worked our way through school and started our marraige with $100 between us. We lived below our means and chose to forego the over-the-top spending that some of our friends did when we were young . Instead, we saved & invested money from each pay period, saved for our children’s education, paid off our houses & autos and took modest, but fun vacations. That we have amassed a net worth in excess of $25M was no accident. It took discipline and getting over FOMO (fear of missing out) when we were younger. We are now able to do what we want, when we want. We’re lucky… we’re in good health and we’re still in our 50s.

    1. Gary,

      This is really good advice to live by! Thank you for sharing. I hope you and your wife are enjoying the free time you have now after making all of those sacrifices!


  11. I think there is confusion on what is wealthy. I weigh in at 2.9 mill, putting me at about the top 97%. But I travel coach when I fly, drive a 10 y.o. pickup bought used, do most of my shopping at Costco, and do pretty much all my own home maint. That’s being thrifty, not frugal. I could spend more, but not for long. I owe no debt, help my kids and always pick up the restaurant tab, but really there isn’t near enough money to indulge in high ticket luxury. What is good is I don’t stress when the washer dies, like it did this week. I get my cars serviced on the recommended interval. The cat goes to vet when he’s hurt. I cover my kids’ cell phone bill (so they have no excuse for not calling their mom).

    I think rich is now well above 10 mil. People like me are just well off pedestrians.

      1. I would not get hung up on the percentiles. I have a net worth over $4 million and I still fly coach, drive an old car, etc….. From my own experience, you need a net worth of at least $7.5 million before you can coast (take expensive vacations, drive new cars, live on a $8 to $10,000 a month after tax budget….). A good net worth does not mean a lot since you have to have a home, keep up cars, pay fixed costs (power, insurance, property taxes, food, possible children help)…..costs add up quickly.

        1. Thats why we have statistics – because everyone’s definition of rich is different. For your lifestyle, anything under $7.5 million doesnt feel rich. For some other people, its 10 million, for some its $50 million… you get the idea.

          To me this is all relative. If you are within the top 5% of the population, you can count your blessings.

  12. That is a silly metric. If we follow it and you get a big raise, the metric says you are suddenly doing much worse.

    1. Depends on your priorities. You can have lots of money, but better be <$11M with spouse or kiss it good by when you die. It is a great metric…try it.

  13. I am in the top 1% (thanks to the RE and stock markets that keep on going up in recent years). But I don’t feel that it particularly makes me happier. Don’t get me wrong, I want my wealth to go up than down but having good health, being positive and being able to do engage in my hobbies bring way more happiness to me than being able to buy a $200k swiss watch or an expensive sports car. Those things don’t mean much to me anyway. I am a frugal person and I respect others who try to live below their means.

  14. Anyone can become a millionaire. But only those that plan early on will actually become one. It’s really simple if you understand the time value of money. Unfortunately most people don’t.

  15. We are happy to see that we are in the top 4% for ages 55 – 60. In 1990, I had no money and no job, but started my company in late 1991 and started investing in rental houses in the 2000s. We don’t feel “rich,” as we do not spend wildly with all kinds of show-off stuff, and have zero debt. The Millionaire Next Door, a bestseller printed in many languages, is an excellent guide to how most millionaires in the USA are self-made and not show-offs.

  16. Amen. We’re 63, have a net worth of $4M, and realize we don’t need that much to enjoy life. We’re already give it away (in reasonable amounts) to support the causes we believe in.

  17. I ask myself all the time what is wealth, what is being rich? Best answer I come up with is having the freedom to do anything I want and not have to worry about paying for it.

    I made it by being smart and investing in real estate. We live in a city of 120000 with low pay so we seem super rich to most people here. We don’t see it but I get why some would think that. After years of living well below our means two years ago I bought a expensive Italian sports car. The only reason I bring that up is because it’s good to reward yourself. The plus side is it opens up conversation with people that don’t understand how to get where we are. I love helping others understand building wealth and having the money to enjoy life. Number one question I get is what do I do for a living. I usually say I’m doing it… then I explain that my real estate holdings pay my bills. I tell people all the time if I can do it anyone can.

    I have a GED, didn’t finish college and been married three times. Paid child support for ever and had 10 different jobs in 22 years. Oh and was born into a poor family with 8 kids. Despite all that working against me I retired at 42 and I’m living the best life I can.

    One last thing, my neighbor the best urologist in town makes really great money however his worthless 40 year old kids such him dry. His net worth is shockingly low. I love my kids and I love my 11 grandchildren but if you want to be ahead of the game you must set limits. Nothing wrong with helping family I help mine all the time but you have to establish limits early on.

  18. A reply to several posts.
    Being rich doesn’t make you happy, but not having money to pay bills can make you miserable.
    The mailman that saves a little money and retires on a Federal pension is well off. (I”m not a fan of the taxpayers funding retirements for workers, let them save just like everyone else. Just because 100 million taxpayers make a big pot doesn’t mean it should be given away as benefits.)
    Yes, always spend less than you earn.
    When you have 2.9 Million and live on 4% (general rule to preserve capital) that’s $116,000 a year. Nice income, but your not going to live the lavish life. The big advantage, you don’t need to work. It’s not the money, it’s the free time. People think, oh, you are rich, but you worked hard for it and you do not want to spend it away. You only want to spend the income it generates.
    I’m one of those in ‘The Millionaire Next Door’ it took us 32 years of living below our means.
    No one knows, the only difference it makes is, we don’t need to work.

  19. Why the big discrepancy from age 39 to age 40? The top 90% at age 39 is well over $900,000, but a year later at age 40 it drops by about a third to a bit over $600,000. What is happening here? Shouldn’t net worth generally increase with age through the middle of life?

    1. Well if you think about it someone who is now 40 was 30 when the big recession hit. I think that demographic was damaged more than others by loss of jobs and foreclosures. Just my thought.

  20. How exactly does Houston’s net worth at age 47 compare to NYC and Los Angele?. Can’t beat life in the big city when you have a high net worth.

  21. Seems incorrect to put in current net worth divided by 1.06 into the table, as most people’s returns have been far higher than 6% over the last 4 years.

    Hopefully new data is out soon.

  22. How long will it take you to update this once the data from 2016 comes out? I just heard back from the SCF and they said they are planning to release the data on Sept 27th, 2016

  23. 1% of head of households or household net worth is $10,000,000 or more? That seems high to me. I would have thought a smaller percentage of households had that much money. I would think $7m -$8m puts you in the top one percent.

    1. Yeah I agree too. In the data, it looks like it’s mostly in older households with the multi-million dollar net worths, so there maybe some bias in the sample. IF you restrict the age range to 18 – 40, then $1.6M is near the top 1%, but then that is only at the 90% for households aged 40+

  24. According to this 4%, or one out of 20 people over 55 have a net worth of at least $3.75m, that is hard for me to believe. I think a lot of senior citizens are doing better than they let on but I don’t think they are doing that well. When marketing firms or investment banks talk about high net worth or very high net worth individuals they don’t include the value of the individual’s house, they are interested in liquid assets. Is house value included here? How does the SCF know this stuff, do they just take people’s word for it?

  25. Almost one in five households, 81st percentile, of people over 55 have a net worth of at least $1m according to this, that is just laughable.

    1. John, ouch, it looks like you just got slapped in the face by reality for about 3 hours. The numbers are accurate, and totally believable. Believe it or not, there is a lot of success in the US, and you don’t really have to do much through 30-40 years of working to accumulate $1 million in your household. It only takes $200-$300 per month, and think about all of the households who have their act together and save ten times that much per month. Remember, these are households, not individuals. 20 out of 100 households is right about what I would expect. Most are likely celebrating their 40th+ wedding anniversary, etc, and worked together to meet goals.

      1. How do you know how accurate they are? Under the heading share these results they admit the survey is biased towards higher incomes.

      2. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. People lie about money and people lie about sex, those are just givens in life. I just don’t believe one in five households where people are over 55 have net assets of $1m, to start with most of those people aren’t working anymore.

        1. Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still – and yet I can’t resist …
          Only the means are significantly biased, not so much the percentiles. You are constantly referring to percentiles in your comments. It is the best effort the gov can give to provide this best guess, and consistency leans towards the percentiles being very reliable inside the 99% inter-quartile range. Remember that this includes net present value of pensions, which is often $500,000+ in itself for a life well-worked at a job with pensions. Yes, there are still significant pensions. Most of these data are not meant to be analyzed by statistically-challenged folks, but hello internet (no offense shnugi, who seems competent to present). These results are absolutely right in line with my 36 years in the industry, in multiple demographics, so I have no reason to believe these numbers are incorrect. That being said, you aren’t alone in your disbelief. In my experience, people don’t believe results like this because it means they have to admit that they fell short in some area – just live your life and be happy with what you have – and be happy for others who kick ash.

    2. Why do you think that’s laughable? If you retire at 67 with a $1 million dollar retirement account (and that doesn’t count other assets like your home), you might be able to generate $50K/year and raise that amount to keep pace with inflation for the rest of your life. Add that to Soc. Sec. – maybe $30K/year for someone with an income during their working years of ~$80K – and their retirement income will be $80K/year. They’ll be much better off than the median person who gets only Social Security (the calculator tells you that the median person has no retirement savings to speak of at all). It’s pretty grim when two-thirds of the population will live in retirement relying on Social Security for more than half their income and half will be entirely reliant on Soc. Sec. unless they work into old age.

    3. Well, at that age some have paid off the mortgage, or most of it, and home values are currently inflated from low interest rates. (If it is mostly in home equity it only does any good if you take a second mortgage or sell the property. ) The stock market has been on the bull run for years, retirement accounts have gained. I’m not sure why this model suggests one figure the future value of pensions into net worth, one may as well figure in your future salary from secure employment. Blue sky. And it depends on personal spending habits, the Millionaire Next Door type people who live way below the means, drive older vehicles, eat at home, savers. We fit into that category. So it is conceivable that 15 to 20% have now hit the million mark, but looking around you are correct, it is hard to believe. On the other hand, thanks to inflation, in a world of $400,000 family homes and $45,000 pickups, one million $$ isn’t what it used to be.

  26. hi, why do your figures differ ever so slightly from the SCF? For instance they have 90th percentile at 1,186mm. I notice a slight difference too b/w your site and dqydj for instance. thanks!

    1. The SCF publishes 5 imputations of the same original survey data and I usually only load the first imputation to keep my database from having to do 5x the work.

      1. thanks.are those their public/private dataset they show on their website? do some sites aggregate all 5 sets somehow or do you need to pick just one?

  27. A reply to several posts. While I agree that the key to building wealth from nothing is to as far below your means for as long as possible, it is is also the case that this country has had a 35 year bull run in the bond market, tax rates too low to cover federal spending, and associative mating. Hard work and personal discipline is only a part of the wealth building story.

  28. At age 61 and 58, my wife and I have worked hard in our own business over the past 30 years. We’ve lived below our means and invested all available resources. We worked hard a sacrificed, we did not go on holidays during the first 10 years after starting our business, staycations! As our finances improved, we loosened the purse strings and have gone on at least one nice annual holiday for each of the last 20 years. My wife daughter and I have enjoyed holidaying in Europe, 3 of the past 4 summers, in the off year we holidayed in Kauai.

    We have an accumulated net worth of $5.1- $5.6 million. We were not born with silver spoons in our mouths and are not members of the lucky sperm club! We inherited $100,000 20 years ago when my wife’s mother passed away.

    We’ve worked extremely hard but there is more to accumulating a high net worth than hard work. I’ve not seen anyone mention or reference in the prior blog posts any reference to good luck or good fortune as being at least partially responsible for their out sized net worth! If your net worth includes real estate or stock investments then a portion of your net worth has no doubt at least partially been as a result of a rising tide in either the real estate or stock markets or both aka good luck! If you do not acknowledge and admit to this good luck, you’re just not being truthful!

    Inherited wealth even sizable wealth, rarely makes it past the next generation. Those inheriting sizable wealth often grew up living a life of priviledge but rarely possess the necessary skill set to manage, maintain or grow their new found wealth. Fools and their money are soon parted!

    Live long and prosper!

    1. Well done. Businesses are the lifeblood of this country, and business owners take on risk and can be rewarded for the risk and hard work.

      Instead of good luck, I would call refer to it as a the reward of a calculated risk. Luck would refer to gambling; calculated risk would refer to investment, taking into account historical returns.

      To make sure your wealth survives generationally, “teach up” your children on management and what it means to be wealthy. It is a huge responsibility of those accumulating the wealth to teach their children to be productive members of society (i.e. get a job), how to be generous, and how to manage. Alternatively, trusts would force this, but are less of a legacy as compared to parental “inherited” wisdom that needs to come with the cash.

  29. I am confused as to what numbers should be used in “net worth” calculations.
    My home is valued at 1.5M without mortgage.
    My savings are virtually all in stocks and have a sale value of about 2.6M.
    However, about 1.6M is due to capital gains (I invested for 40 years before retiring)
    My wife and I have about 4.5M in IRAs and each year we must take out the minimum distribution taxed at 35%. Is my net worth the current sale price or the value after taxes? Money isn’t everything but it does keep the children in touch!

    1. I think your net worth number will need to exclude all future taxes. Do an estimate of the various taxes on your existing assets based on federal & state tax percentages, with the assumption that you will liquidate them at a future time. Warren Buffett calls taxes on investment gains a no-interest loan from the government that you repay later when you exit the investment. It’s a nice thought. 🙂

      What did you mean when you said money keeps the children in touch? It is to fund travels to visit them?

  30. Hello,
    I would like to know how many how many families have a net worth for the following amounts.
    Percentages don’t tell though story.

    Thank you

  31. Two middle-income earners here living frugally, watched with delight as our net worth rose above expectations, surpassing 1M in 18 yrs. We plan to retire at 2MM, which we may reach by the end of 2020. That should support us comfortably. Our families/friends are so clueless…

    How can “pension value” be included in net worth? It should be valued the same as a young man’s youth. How do you quantify potential? Might as well include potential earnings as a Walmart greeter too.

    Some net worth calculators don’t include primary residence. Following that logic, selling your home and living in a motorhome would boost your net worth. Such folly.

    1. Regarding the pension value:

      If someone works at a job for only 10 years and earns pension benefits from that job (to be given at retirement age, many years down the road) before moving on to the next job, then that future income has a real present value. I guess it could be considered “potential” benefits because no one knows if the company goes under between now and then, but for the most part the net present value is real and can be considered an asset with a lump sum similar to an annuity. For instance, ask 1) a bank lender who want to loan you money, or 2) a lawyer who wants to sue your pants off – if they know you have guaranteed money on the horizon their mouths water.

    2. Congratulations on what you have accomplished. I don’t count annuities or SS in the calculation of net worth but I have mixed feelings about whether or not one should. Both have value. The annuity very probably could be sold and perhaps that income stream is really an asset. SS is tougher to justify but it is an income stream that increases the value of other holdings, because it is, then, not necessary to spend them and the asset remainder can be maintained. All net worth calculations are an estimate anyway short of complete knowledge about future growth/loss and tax policy.

  32. The non-believers are interesting. This is the land of opportunity, so it not at all surprising that many of us have earned, saved and invested enough to be multi-millionaires. If we are able to have less government and therefore more freedom, even more will become millionaires. Of course, people also need to reject the siren songs of the sellers and lenders, or they will be debt slaves forever (I think I was using that term long before I ever heard of Dave Ramsey, but he has earned a national audience and I have not, so I defer to him).

  33. Abner Barnes and Cecil Burrow comments are clearly a bogus and probably form someone with less than $10 in the bank. Someone with a net worth of $15 and $150 million wouldn’t even make arrogant comments like this. I’m 52 and may be hitting a restructuring point with my employer who was just bought by another so I have been giving this some thought lately. Living in the more affordable midwest with a real current neat worth of a tick over 1.4 million excluding my primary home and at a 4% SWR, would live quite happily on $56k a year with only paying federal taxes in my state based on retirement tax rules. Even bit less. I currently own a 2900 sq. ft 4 bed room newer home, an older Porsche 911, BMW, 7 Rolex watches and have everything I need to enjoy a forced early retirement if it happens.

  34. I recently turned 40, and decided to look into where I stood vis-a-vis others in their late 30s and early 40s. We are childless, with an approximate net worth of $1.25m. One primary residence paid for, one investment property that’s not. 2 adults with 4 paid off vehicles (VW GTI, Mazda6, 90s Ford Ranger and nearly 50 year old 911). Roughly $400k in retirement for me thus far, she’s got less but will also get a pension that I am not including here. HHI just north of $160k excluding bonus. We are blessed to live in a seaside college town here in RI. We go out for dinner on Friday nights. I make coffee at home and bring a lunch just about every day. I am apparently known as ‘Mr Self Sufficient’ by our neighbors who watch me do things like vehicle repairs, build furniture, tune skis, do much of the work on home renovation projects etc. It’s how I was raised. They also say things like ‘it must be nice’ re skiing / sailing / my somewhat expensive bicycle…but then they go out and waste money on cruises, dine out all the time, always have the latest iphones / ipads, lease entry level lux vehicles…it’s a different lifestyle. If I had another $3m to my name, I am not sure I would live much differently. Do you want stuff or experiences?

  35. The real rich person is not the number but the degree of inner happiness, if you have high number saving but are selfish, too bad you are very poor, to the end of your life, it does not generate any value for you, you just waste this life till next cycle and probably will be a beggar or homeless.

  36. I am about 3-4 years from retirement
    I think I have enough money approx 4M in net worth including residentence

    lots in stock about 60%, didn’t start out that way as there was about 35% of net worth 5 -6 years ago but its grown faster then other assets because they have grown so quickly typical stocks AAPL GOOG DIS COST etc all doing well

    As I get closer to retirement should I re balance and if I sell about 500K -750 K in stocks where to put it is the question to generate about a 4-5% safe return

    open to suggestions


  37. I am by no means rich but at 35 with approximately 400k in net worth I am happy. I dont require much so its just a safety net for the futuee in my eyes.

  38. For Roy-

    Just a suggestion. Not sure what your living expenses are per year, but let’s say 100k. Why not do a 5 year tiered CD ladder of 500k? So every year you have a CD expire with 100k (that’s your living expense for the year). Put the rest in the market. If the market goes up, sell enough to fund another 100k for your ladder. If there is a downturn, skip buying a CD that year, then you still have a few years to make it up before you CD ladder money runs out. With rates going up, at least you can earn something in a CD again. Just my two cents.

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