Net worth is the total value of a person’s assets minus the total value of his or her liabilities. You won’t use it to make many day-to-day decisions, but it’s a useful snapshot of where you’re at financially. Use our net worth calculator to find yours.
What is my net worth?
What is net worth?
The formal definition of net worth is the combined value of your assets, or the things you own that have monetary value, minus the value of your liabilities — the accounts or loans that you’re paying off.
Net worth is the combined value of your assets minus the value of your liabilities.
Assets that count toward your net worth tend to be liquid assets. Some fixed assets can count, too, but it depends on whether you can or would sell them if you needed to. Liabilities are a bit easier to classify — any money you owe to another person or entity falls under this category.
» MORE: How to create a budget
What are assets and liabilities?
If you’re not sure what assets and liabilities are, here are some guidelines:
Assets: Assets include cash — such as in your checking, savings and retirement accounts — and items such as cars, property and investments that you could sell for cash. Count your home if you would be willing to sell it should the need arise or if you use it for a home equity line of credit.
Assets include cash and items that you could sell for cash.
Liabilities: Liabilities are debts. Revolving consumer debts — such as credit card balances — fall into this category, as do personal, auto, payday and title loan balances. If you’re using your home as an asset, its mortgage counts as a liability as well.
How your net worth compares
The Federal Reserve releases its Survey of Consumer Finances every three years — the most recent report was issued in September 2017 with data from a survey fielded in 2016. Here’s how net worth stacks up by income, age, family size and education, and how it has changed since 1998 in dollar amounts.
Net worth of U.S. families
|Income tier||1998||2016||Change 1998-2016|
|Up to $25,300||$8,600||$6,700||-22.09%|
|$25,301 to $43,500||$48,900||$32,300||-33.95%|
|$43,501 to $69,500||$78,800||$81,600||3.55%|
|$69,501 to $111,400||$165,700||$168,300||1.57%|
|$111,401 to $177,100||$278,100||$393,600||41.53%|
|Age tier||1998||2016||Change 1998-2016|
|Less than 35||$13,500||$11,100||-17.78%|
|75 or more||$185,300||$264,800||42.90%|
|Single with child(ren)||$23,800||$22,400||-5.88%|
|Single, no child, age less than 55||$22,800||$13,800||-39.47%|
|Single, no child, age 55 or more||$128,800||$114,800||-10.87%|
|Couple with child(ren)||$128,500||$117,000||-8.95%|
|Couple, no child||$219,200||$226,300||3.24%|
|No high school diploma||$31,100||$22,800||-26.69%|
|High school diploma||$79,800||$67,100||-15.91%|