The U.S. median net worth is $127,345 for 40–44 year olds and $164,197 for 45–49-yyear olds. So, the median net worth by age 50 is over $165,000.
This article shows the American median net worth by age percentile for people in their 40s.
What is net worth?
Net worth is an important measure of wealth. Net worth is assets minus debts. It is what you own minus what you owe.
The formula for net worth is: net worth = total assets – total liabilities.
To calculate your net worth, see the Net Worth Calculator: What’s Your Net Worth?
What is the average U.S. net worth?
The U.S. average net worth is $748,800. However, a better comparison is median net worth of $121,700.
For people in their 40s, median net worth is $127,345 for 40-44 year olds and $164,197 for 45-49 year olds
|Age||Median Net Worth||Average Net Worth|
The median is a better number to compare than the average. The median is the 50th percentile. Half of the families are above, and half are below. Large net worths in the top 1% increase the average.
For example, the average net worth of $761,560 for ages 45–49 is in the 82nd percentile. 82% of households are below, and only 18% are higher.
It’s not what you make, it’s what you save.
Net worth usually grows with age, so it’s a good comparison for individuals. Younger people have less wealth, so it is important to compare net worth by age.
The U.S. net worth by age data comes from two sources:
- Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances with income and net worth numbers from 2019. This is the latest information available from the Federal Reserve.
- Net Worth by Age Calculator for the United States from the excellent financial site DQYDJ.
Net worth by age
The following graph shows the 2019 U.S. household median net worth by age. The Federal Reserve publishes this report every three years. The next report will be released in 2023.
Net worth by age 50
Americans in their 40s have a lower net worth than the median.
Tips for people in their 40s include:
- It isn’t too late to start saving if you haven’t already
- pay off credit card debt
- increase saving rate in retirement plans
- pay off any loans, including mortgages
- make a budget to plan your savings
- invest in low-cost index funds
People in their 40s usually have more earnings and assets than younger people. However, a few people in their 40s have negative net worth.
According to the DQYDJ Net Worth by Age Calculator about 9% of people in their 40s have negative net worth.
Average net worth by age 45
The following table shows net worth by age 45 sorted by percentiles.
Here is how to understand the percentiles for 40-44 year olds:
- 25th percentile of $18,518 means that 25% are below and 75% above this net worth.
- 50th percentile of $127,345 is the median. Half are above and half are below this net worth.
- 90th percentile of $848,815 is in the top 10% of net worth. 90% of households are below this net worth.
|Net Worth Percentile||Ages 40-44|
The 99th percentile or top 1% for 40-44 years olds is estimated at $7.9 million.
Here is the graph for net worth for ages 40-44 in percentiles.
What is a good net worth by age 45?
Here are net worth goals for 40–44 year olds. This table is helpful to compare your net worth with your age group.
|Net Worth Goals||Ages 40-44|
|Below Average||Below $127,345|
For a good net worth by age 45, aim for the 75th percentile of $351,292 and above.
Average net worth by age 50
The following table shows net worth by age 50, sorted by percentiles.
Here is how to understand the percentiles for 45-49 year olds:
- 30th percentile of $9,558 means that 30% are below and 70% are above.
- 50th percentile of $55,519 is the median. Half of 35-39 year olds are above this net worth. The other half is below.
- 90th percentile of $601,341 is in the top 10% of net worth by age group. 90% of households are below this net worth.
|Net Worth Percentile||Ages 45-49|
The 99th percentile, or top 1%, for 45-49 year olds is estimated to be $10.5 million.
Here is the graph for net worth for ages 45–49 in percentiles.
What is a good net worth by age 50?
Here are net worth goals for 45-49 year olds. This table is helpful to compare your net worth with your age group.
|Net Worth Goals||Ages 45-49|
|Below Average||Below $164,197|
For a good net worth by age 50, aim for the 75th percentile of $452,226.
Tips to increase your net worth
Here are 15 tips to increase your net worth:
Remember, net worth is assets minus debts. So, you need to increase assets and decrease debt.
- Make savings a habit.
- Pay off credit cards fast. Avoid credit card debt if you can.
- Pay off all your debts, especially any non mortgage loans.
- Invest in stocks using low-cost index funds
- Investments are better than savings. (Use total stock market index funds like VTSAX or SWTSX.)
- Let your investments grow using compound interest. Remember the Rule of 72.
- You need a plan, so make and follow a budget.
- Invest in a retirement plan at work, like a 401(k) or a Roth IRA.
- When you increase your income, increase your investments.
- Control spending so you can save and invest more.
- Track your net worth and update it annually.
- Compare your net worth to your age.
- Increase your skills to improve your income. Learn to earn.
- Owning a home is an investment. Homeowners typically have higher net worth
- Be patient because net worth grows with age and income.
Read more on net worth
Here are more net worth articles on Finally Learn:
Jeff Mankin teaches financial literacy and Excel. He is the founder of Finally Learn.