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Are You Richer or Poorer Than Your Fellow Americans?

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Are you wealthy? That can be a hard question to answer since people have different ideas about what it means to be rich.

One way to determine where you stand in terms of wealth is to compare your net worth to that of your peers. Your net worth is the total value of what you own minus the total amount of debt you have. Simply add up all of your money and property, from investment accounts to homes and vehicles, to find out the total value of your assets. Then subtract all your debts, like your mortgage and car loan, and you’ll have your net worth.

Read on to learn your peers’ net worth and see where you stand compared to your fellow Americans.

This is how much Americans are worth

In the United states, the median net worth was $192,700 in 2022, according to research from The Motley Fool based on data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances.

However, there was substantial variation in net worth by age. In fact, Americans aged 65 to 74 are the group with the highest net worth. This demographic had a median net worth that was around 10 times as great as the net worth of Americans under age 35.

Net worth tends to increase as you get older. Over time, you can work on repaying debt and acquiring more assets. Here’s the difference in median net worth by age:

  • Under 35: $39,040
  • Ages 35 to 44: $135,300
  • Ages 45 to 54: $246,700
  • Ages 55 to 64: $364,270
  • 65 to 74: $410,000.
  • 75 and up: $334,700

As you can see, once you start spending down your savings in retirement, your net worth starts to fall again. That’s why Americans aged 75 and up had a median net worth that was lower than their younger counterparts between the ages of 65 to 74.

How to increase your net worth

If your net worth is above the median of $192,700, then you are “richer” than the typical American. And if you beat the median in your age range, then you’re well on your way to building a secure future and enjoying financial independence.

If you have a net worth that is lower than the median, that may not be a big issue — especially if you have close to the typical amount of wealth for your specific age cohort. For instance, it’s normal to be young and broke. However, if your net worth is much lower than your peers’, this can suggest you have some catching up to do.

The best way to grow your net worth is to focus on buying assets that go up in value and avoid any debt that won’t help you grow your net worth in the long run. It might make sense to take out a business loan to start a company, or a mortgage to buy a home that you can comfortably afford. But going into high-interest credit card debt to take a vacation is a bad idea.

You should budget your income carefully to ensure you’re saving and investing at least 20% of what you earn. If you take this money and buy things like stocks and certificates of deposit (CDs), your money can work for you and grow faster.

The more of these types of assets you acquire over time, the higher your net worth will be, and the sooner you can get on the path to becoming as rich as — or richer than — your fellow Americans.

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The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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