This Is the Average 30-Something's Net Worth. How Do You Compare?

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  • Net worth is calculated by totaling your assets and subtracting your debts.
  • By the time your 30s kick in, you may be on the way to building an impressive net worth.

You may or may not be surprised at the answer.

Net worth is the sort of thing you may not focus on when you're younger. But as you get older and your earnings increase, you may have a great opportunity to build up your net worth.

But first, let's do a quick refresher. Your net worth is the total of your assets minus your debts. As a very simplified example, if your only asset is a $30,000 savings account balance and you owe $5,000 on your credit cards, your net worth is $25,000.

Generally, net worth tends to increase with age, and for good reason. First, the more work experience you have, the more your income is likely to increase. Secondly, assets like homes and stocks have a tendency to gain value over time, so the longer you hold them, the more your net worth is likely to climb.

What does net worth look like for 30-somethings?

Personal Capital did some research to see what the average net worth is among 30-somethings, and it found that number to be $290,498. But before you focus on that figure, it's worth noting that the median net worth among that age group is $48,985.

Clearly, that median is a lot lower. And what that tells us is that the median is most likely more indicative of what net worth really looks like for people in their 30s.

In fact, it's likely that among those surveyed by Personal Capital, a small percentage of respondents in their 30s had a very high net worth. That explains why the average is so much higher than the median.

How does your net worth stack up?

Maybe your net worth is greater than what the average 30-something has (or the median amount of wealth). Or maybe it's less.

The reality is that focusing on net worth could lead you down a path of self-doubt, so rather than fixating on not liking that number, focus on the things you can do to increase your net worth.

Here are some actions you can take:

  • Adding money to your savings account or IRA
  • Investing money you don't need right away in a brokerage account
  • Buying a home if you're currently renting one (homes have a tendency to gain a lot of value over time, so paying down your own mortgage instead of a landlord's could work to your benefit)
  • Whittling down your existing debt and steering clear of new debt

Remember, too, that your net worth is likely to increase as you age. We just learned that 30-somethings have a median net worth of $48,985. By comparison, that median is $7,987 for 20-somethings and $170,767 for 40-somethings.

It often takes time to build up a solid net worth, and if you're in your 30s, it means you have many working years ahead of you to grow wealth. If you focus on building savings and investing in assets that tend to appreciate in value, you may end up thrilled with your personal net worth by the time your 40s, 50s, or 60s roll around.

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