Is your net worth on track compared the rest of the US population? Here are a few graphs to see if you have increased your net worth at a similar rate to other American households. In this first graph, I’ve selected the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles of net worth at various age ranges to allow you to figure out where you lie in relation to the rest of the population. For example, at age 30:
- the 25th percentile has a net worth of $700.
- the 50th percentile has a net worth of $16,000.
- the 75th percentile has a net worth of $77,900.
There are many misconceptions about American wealth. A common one is that Americans are heavily indebted. As this graph demonstrates most American have a positive net worth, even at the 25th percentile. Net worth includes assets such as houses, stocks, retirement accounts, etc as well as debts such as mortgages, student loans, and credit cards. You can follow the general trend of people saving more and more as they age. This trend reverses around the standard retirement age of 65-70, and people begin to draw down on their retirement savings and other assets to pay for living expenses. The drop is most drastic for those that are in the 75th percentile, which may be due to many causes such as retirees continuing to support the same level of lifestyle that they lived while they were in their income earning years.
Not all Americans are as fortunate, the 10th percentile of households is heavily indebted until age 50 when the net worth of the average household in the 10th percentile of wealth hits 0. An important thing to keep in mind with these charts is that people will move between different percentiles due to different life circumstances. Many of the households in the 10th percentile in the 20-35 year old age brackets are probably in debt from student loans. These people probably have higher future earning potential and build up wealth faster than most other households.
Those at the 90th percentile bracket follow the previous trend as the rest of the population, but with many times a much money saved as the average American household. At age 70, a household in the 90th percentile has almost 10% as much wealth as the average American household ($2 million vs $226k)! Are you saving enough?
You can calculate your own net worth percentile using our Net Worth Percentile Caclulator.
These graphs were generated from data from the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances.