Are you wondering what your net worth by age should be? This article will show you what the average net worth by age is at 30, 40, 50, and 60. The goal is to achieve these net worth figures by age so you can retire comfortably.
According to CNN Money, the average net worth by age 30, 40, 50, and 60 in 2021 are:
- $9,000 for ages 25-34
- $52,000 for ages 35-44
- $100,000 for ages 45-54
- $180,000 for ages 55-64
- $232,000+ for 65+
According to the latest figures from Fidelity, the average 401(k) balance after a record 2020 was about $110,000. With the S&P 500 up over 15% YTD in 2021 after dividends, the average 401(k) balance is likely higher today.
Of course, the 401(k) is only a part of the one’s net worth. But the 401(k) data gives us a good idea for the average net worth composition.
Growing Your Net Worth Starts With Savings
Despite the results, the figures seem low because the average American only saves between 5% – 7% of their income. At least we saw the U.S. personal savings rat spike to a whopping 32% during the height of the pandemic in 1H2020, showing that Americans can save if we want to.
If you want to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later, you must max out your 401k and IRAs and save and invest an additional 20% or more of your leftover income.
The pandemic has shown us that if Americans WANT to save, we can! Therefore, having a savings rate below 10% is more like a self-inflicted wound. Save more.
Hopefully, you are in agreement the average net worth at age 30, 40, 50, and 60 is woefully light to live a comfortable retirement life.
Let’s say you have the average net worth for a 60 year old of $200,000. With a 3% or 4% safe withdrawal rate, you can only live off $6,000 – $8,000 a year. Even with Social Security, you will likely struggle.
Hence, I think we should shoot to have the ABOVE average net worth for 30, 40, 50, and 60 year olds! Welcome to Financial Samurai.
The Above Average Person is loosely defined as:
1) Someone who went to college and believes grades and a good work ethic do matter.
2) Does not irrationally spend more than they make.
3) Saves for the future because they realize at some point they no longer are willing or able to work.
4) Takes responsibility for their own actions when things go wrong and learns from the situation to make things better.
5) Takes action by leveraging free tools on the internet to track their net worth, minimize investment fees, manage their budget, and stay on top of their finances in general. Once you know where all your money is, it becomes much easier to optimize your wealth and make it grow.
6) Welcomes constructive criticism and is not overly sensitive from friends, loved ones, and strangers in order to keep improving. Keeping an open mind is critical.
7) Has a healthy amount of self-esteem to be able to lead change and believe in themselves.
8) Enjoys empowering themselves through learning, whether it be through books, personal finance blogs, magazines, seminars, continuing education and so forth.
9) Has little-to-no student loan debt due to scholarships, part-time work, or help from their parents. Our parents have saved and invested through the largest bull market in history. It’s understandable that parents want to help their children out.
10) Someone who is able to think rationally during times of panic and take advantage of the situation instead of freak out.
Now that we have a rough definition of what “above average” means, we can take a look at the tables I’ve constructed based on the tens of thousands of past comments by you and posts I’ve written to highlight the average net worth of the above average person.
What Should My Net Worth Be At Age 30, 40, 50, 60?
To find out the appropriate net worth by age, we must first highlight what the average tax-deferred retirement savings plan is for those in America.
We’ll focus on the simple 401K system we have here where one can contribute a maximum of $19,500 of their pre-tax income every year as of 2021. The limits generally go up about $500 every couple of years.
This chart can be used as a rough estimate for those with the RRSP plan in Canada, and retirement plans in Europe and Australia as well.
In fact, any country that has any sort of tax-deferred retirement plan and social safety net program for retirement that has a GDP/capita of $30,000 or more can use the below chart as an aspirational guide.
Remember, we are talking about the “above average person” to find the appropriate net worth by age. Your goal is to have a higher-than-average net worth at age 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and beyond.
FINANCIAL SAMURAI TAX DEFERRED (401K) SAVINGS GUIDE
To calculate the right net worth by age 30, 40, 50, 60, we need to look at the ubiquitous 401k retirement savings plan.
The assumption here is that the above average person is able to start contributing $18,000 to their tax-deferred retirement plan every year after the second full year of work. He or she will continue on without fail until 65.
The low and high end account for a conservative 0% return to a more historical 7% – 8% constant rate of return. Of course you can lose money and make much more if you are good and lucky.
Given the 401k maximum contribution limits have increased over time, the three columns from left to right can also be used as guidance for older savers over 45 years old, middle aged savers between 30 – 45, and younger savers under 30 who get to max out at $18,000 a year at the minimum for the majority of their careers.
For example, when I started contributing to my 401k in 1999, the maximum contribution limit was only $10,000. As a 39 year old, I’ll focus on the Mid End column as a guidance.
This chart does not take into consideration any after-tax savings post 401K contribution or 401k company matching either. It’s always good to end up with too much money than too little.
FINANCIAL SAMURAI POST-TAX SAVINGS GUIDE
After calculating the pre-tax 401k retirement plan, we most focus on the post-tax or taxable savings guide. Th pre-tax and post-tax savings are vital for coming up with the right net worth by age.
The above chart assumes on the low end that one saves about $5,000 a year in after-tax income. The other assumption is saving around $10,000-$15,000 a year in after-tax income on the high-end. This is after maxing out their tax-deferred retirement vehicle.
I’ve tried to keep things as simple as possible, assuming no inflation and no investment returns. I also believe saving $5,000-$15,000 a year in after-tax income is very realistic for the above average person. It is probably very easy to do for many who earn more than $85,000 per person. Finally, the chart should show you the power of consistency.
Investing In Real Estate Is Important
A 2020 study showed that the average net worth of a homeowner is roughly $200,000, or 40X greater than the average renter’s net worth of $5,000.
We can debate the merits of this study (done by a real estate association of course) all day long (demographic sampling, housing price changes, etc), but the point is, “above average” people generally all own homes and are wealthier, be it 2X wealthier or 40X wealthier than the average renter.
The return on rent is always -100%. You get a place to live and that’s that. There is never a positive return on an asset after a month, or 30 years of renting. A renter cannot pass on her paid off house to her kids or grandchildren. There is no asset accumulation at all. There is a reason why some 97% of millionaires are property owners.
The value of real estate varies across all the land and the world. It is hard to make an assumption of what should be inputted as a result. According to the US Census bureau, the median home price in America is $220,000 while the average home price is $280,900.
You can’t get anything livable in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, and maybe even Washington DC and Boston for $250,000. But, you sure can in the Midwest for $250,000 with higher yields.I’m buying heartland real estate through real estate crowdfunding.
The above average 30, 40, 50, and 60 year old invests in real estate in addition to stocks and bonds.
Best Real Estate Platforms
My favorite two real estate platforms are Fundrise and CrowdStreet. Both are the most innovative platforms with the highest quality screening and deals to choose from. Both are also free to sign up and explore.
CrowdStreet is mostly geared towards accredited investors looking for individual properties in 18-hour cities. 18-hour cities are secondary cities where valuations are lower, rental yields are higher, and growth rates may be higher due to positive demographic migration trends.
Fundrise is for all investors looking to get focused, yet diversified real estate exposure through its innovative eREITs. eREITs are private real estate funds that have historically provided solid returns and low volatility. Fundrise has done a good job outperforming when the stock market is in na run.
Both platforms are free to sign up and explore. I’ve personally invested $810,000 in 18 different real estate crowdfunding projects to diversify my real estate investments and earn income 100% passively.
Due to the importance of real estate, let’s construct an equity value chart of something based on a range of $250,000-$500,000.
The assumption is that upon retirement, you have your house paid off. The full value of the house will then be part of your net worth. Or you can capitalized value of all rents you would pay if you did not own.
Financial Samurai Home Equity By Age Guide
A net worth by age calculation must include real estate. Everybody needs to get neutral real estate by owning their primary residence. When you ask, What Should My Net Worth Be At Age 30, 40, 50, 60, you must include real estate as part of your net worth growth. Real estate provides a double benefit of providing higher rental income and higher property values over time.
I assume that the above average person buys a $250,000-$500,000 piece of property at 27. By the time they turn 28, they will have owned the property for 1 year and have paid down $3,500-$7,500 in principal on a $250,000-$400,000 loan.
I conservatively assume a $250,000 no money down loan for the low end house. This is even though after 5 years of working, the low-end above average person should have around $25,000-$30,000 saved up in cash based on the after-tax savings charts above.
By the time a 27 year old pays off his or her mortgage in 30 years, s/he will be 57 years old with a place to live rent from for the rest of his/her life. That is the true value of the property, the rent saved for the remainder of the owner’s life.
It can be calculated as the present value of those future rental payments. Or simply the market value of the home. I assume zero price appreciation on the home to keep things conservative. I also assume no extra payments to accelerate the payoff either.
Home prices have historically returned just a bit above inflation every year e.g. 2-3%. But given the above average person puts down about 20%, the 2-3% returns suddenly turns into a 10%-15% cash-on-cash per year. 10-15% compares favorably to the average S&P 500 return of roughly 8%.
Add on the tax benefits for mortgage interest deduction and owning a home through a mortgage becomes very beneficial for higher income earners.
Refinance Your Mortgage
Mortgage rates are at all-time lows in 2021. It’s time for everybody to refinance their mortgage today and save. Check out Credible, my favorite mortgage marketplace where lenders compete for your business. I recently a 7/1 ARM jumbo loan for 2.25%.
Over the past 30 years, homeowners have been able to refinance their mortgages to save money. On the flip side, renters have continued to pay ever higher rents due to inflation.
The X Factor – Your Own Abilities
So far, we’ve touched upon pre-tax savings, after-tax savings, investment returns of 0% for those savings to remain conservative, and real estate. You need to spend less than you earn for that inevitable day you no longer have an income. You also need to live somewhere, hence, you should own your property if you know you will be there for much longer than 5-10 years.
There’s something missing in all of this, and that something is what I call the X Factor. Above average people seem to always be thinking of new ways to build wealth. There is an optimism about them that no matter what happens, they can always find ways to make more money.
It’s hard to quantify what that X Factor is for the average above average person. But it’s there somehow through music, writing, athletics, communication, entrepreneurship, hustling, and so much more.
My X Factor is this site, FinancialSamurai.com. I started it during the financial crisis of 2009. It somehow grew to make a livable income stream 2.5 years later. Therefore, I negotiated a severance and left Corporate America for good in 2012.
Now, Financial Samurai provides a healthy supplemental retirement income stream. The key for everybody is to try and develop as much passive income as possible. If you can generate enough passive income to cover your desired living expenses, you’re free!
Current Passive Income Streams
Here are my latest passive income streams I’ve been building since 1999. Here is a post ranking the best passive income streams today.
I’m currently investing a lot in rental properties and looking for deals on real estate crowdfunding platforms Fundrise and CrowdStreet. Fundrise focuses on real estate funds. CrowdStreet focuses on individual deals in 18-hour cities.
I believe owning real estate is the best source of semi-passive and passive investment income in an inflationary environment. You benefit from rising rents and rising property values.
So far, I’ve invested $810,000 in real estate crowdfunding. My plan is to invest more than $1 million in real estate crowdfunding to earn more passive income.
I highly recommend everyone start their own website. Brand yourself online, especially now that work from home is common.
Related: How To Start A Profitable Website
The Average Net Worth For The Above Average 30, 40, 50, 60 Year Old
I have gone ahead and averaged the averages for pre-tax savings, post-tax savings, and real estate equity progress in the spreadsheet below. The pre and post tax savings can be invested however you see fit and is a topic of another post.
Another thing to note is taxation, given pre-tax savings have to eventually be withdrawn and taxed. Again, these are rough estimates to give you an idea of the average net worth of the above average person.
If you are above average, here is the net worth of a 30, 40, 50, and 60 year old.
There you have it! The recommended net worth at age 30, 40, 50, and 60 are:
- $250,000 at age 30
- $660,000 at age 40
- $1,240,000 at age 50
- $2,180,000 at age 60
If you want financial freedom, I strongly believe these are the net worth figures you need to have by age 30, 40, 50, and 60.
If you are feeling a little intimidated by these numbers, don’t be. Compound interest and inflation should be tailwinds for your investments that will help you get there.
The key is to stay disciplined with your savings and investing routine. With a proper asset or net worth allocation, you’ll be amazed at how far your net worth will grow over time.
Recommendation To Build Wealth
The best way to build wealth is to get a handle on your finances by signing up with Personal Capital. They are a free online platform which aggregates all your financial accounts on their Dashboard. From there, you can optimize your finances.
Before Personal Capital, I had to log into eight different systems to track 28 different accounts. Now, I can just log into Personal Capital to see how my stock accounts are doing. I can check how my net worth is progressing, and where my spending is going. You also get your net worth amount sent to your inbox weekly.
One of their best tools is the 401K Fee Analyzer. It has helped me save over $1,700 in annual portfolio fees I had no idea I was paying. Click on the Investment Tab and run your portfolio through their fee analyzer.
They’ve also come out with their incredible Retirement Planning Calculator to help you figure out your financial future. You can input various income and expense variables to see the outcomes. Definitely check to see how your finances are shaping up as it’s free.
About the Author:
Sam worked in investing banking for 13 years at GS and CS. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics from The College of William & Mary and got his MBA from UC Berkeley. In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34. He could due to his investments that now generate roughly $250,000 a year in passive income.
His favorite investment at the moment is in real estate crowdfunding. He wants to take advantage of lower valuations and higher rental yields in the heartland of America. Sam spends most of his time playing tennis and taking care of his family.
Financial Samurai was started in 2009. It is one of the most trusted personal finance sites on the web with over 1.5 million pageviews a month. What Should My Net Worth Be At Age 30, 40, 50, 60 is a Financial Samurai original post.