The upper middle class, aka the mass affluent, are loosely defined as individuals with a net worth or investable assets between $100,000 to $2 million. Some also define upper middle class as those who are college educated with incomes in the top 15% – roughly $100,000 or greater for households or $63,000 or greater for individuals.
The upper middle class is different from the rich because there’s a good chance everybody can achieve mass affluent status if they work and save for a long enough period of time. The mass affluent didn’t inherit their money, they earned it through hard work. On the other hand, getting rich often takes a tremendous amount of luck.
At the end of last year, I worked with my colleagues at Personal Capital to analyze the 600,000+ user base of the free financial dashboard users. Roughly 175,000 of the 600,000+ users are considered mass affluent (30%). Users of Personal Capital are now tracking over $150 billion in assets. Talk about big data!
As data nerds, we scrubbed the figures to assess what is the average net worth by age for these 175,000 upper middle class users and put the results in a chart to visualize. We excluded individuals below 20 years old and those over 89 years old with linked accounts of between $100,000 – $2 million. We can’t have trust fund babies or centenarians with lots more time to accumulate wealth polluting our data! The data reflects all dashboard users, not just the clients for the wealth management service.
Before taking a look at the data, have a guess at what the average net worth is for an upper middle class person your age. I have a feeling we all think we are in the upper middle class, but the numbers might tell a different story. Wealth is relative after all.