NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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How Much Are You Worth?

How Much Are You Worth?

                You're priceless, of course but what about money management wise?  If you add, subtract and evaluate the assets you own versus your debts, it is a positive or negative number?   How large is that number?  How does it compare to your future plans for investing in a business or for retirement?

                Figuring out your net worth is key to creating a comprehensive financial plan and provides a good measure of whether you're making progress financially.  No matter what your "number" is today, the goal is to have it increase over time, at least until you hit retirement (when most people begin to spend down some of your assets).

                Performing a net worth calculation can be a motivating factor. You may think, for instance, that you're doing fine on savings until you realize that your non-mortgage debts all but erase or exceed them.

                Nearly 31 percent of U.S. households have a net worth below $25,000; of those, nearly 11 percent have a negative net worth.  The median net worth of all U.S. households, meanwhile, is $100,894, meaning half of all homes have less.  On the high end, only 11.4 percent of U.S. households have a net worth of $500,000 or more.

                To calculate your net worth, first tally up the value of your assets. That includes your checking, savings, brokerage and retirement accounts. It also includes your home(s) and any art, antiques or other collectibles that you plan to sell at some point.

                On the liability side, count all your debts – such as your mortgage, student loan, car loan or home equity loans; plus any balances on credit cards or lines of credit.   Subtract the liability total from your asset total to determine your net worth – is it where you want it to be?   What can you change to move that number upwards? Next step - setting a goal!

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