Net worth is a measure of your overall wealth. It is everything you own (assets) minus everything you owe (liabilities). Net worth can be positive or negative and on some rare occasions, it can be equal to zero. Positive net worth means that your assets are worth more than your liabilities, so if you choose to pay off all of your liabilities, you will still have something left. If your net worth is negative, then you owe money to cover your liabilities, which means that if you were to pay off all of your liabilities, you would not have enough money to cover them. A net worth of zero means that you have the same amount of assets and liabilities.
The following net worth calculator helps you determine your net worth by doing the necessary calculations to determine what is your net worth.
Assets are items that are owned by you and have a monetary value, they can be either liquid assets or illiquid assets. It is important to note that income is not an asset. Income is usually paid in cash, benefits, and sometimes financial instruments such as stock options. All of these are assets. Net worth is calculated at a certain point in time, so it must be calculated given the number of assets a person owns at a certain time. For example, if your net worth is $10,000 today and tomorrow you will receive $3,000 as a paycheck, you will still have $10,000 as your net worth today. On the other hand, tomorrow your net worth will be equal to $13,000 because then you have more assets.
Liquid assets such as cash, checking accounts, savings, etc., are all considered liquid because they can be converted to cash quickly. Usually, most of the transactions, including salary, are done using liquid assets, such as cash or stock options. These liquid assets are used to buy illiquid assets that will either appreciate over time or provide some benefit to the buyer.
Illiquid assets would include your home, car, and locked-in investments that cannot be converted to cash quickly. In theory, any type of asset, even illiquid, can be sold, but illiquid assets may likely be sold at a large discount if the owner wants to sell them quickly.
Liabilities are debts that are owed by you in the short and long term. This includes examples such as credit card debt, student loans, mortgages, personal loans, etc. Short-term liabilities refer to the debt that needs to be repaid within a year. For example, a personal loan that needs to be repaid within a year would be considered a short-term liability. On the other hand, a 30-year mortgage loan would be considered a long-term liability.
The dollar value of sustainable liabilities may be different from person to person, especially if the people have different credit scores. Liabilities refer to the debts owed by the person, and every debt has an interest rate that a borrower must pay. If a person has a good credit score, the liabilities will be easier to service compared with a person with a bad credit score because of the difference in interest rates.
Net worth is calculated by taking all your assets and adding it up, followed by subtracting all your liabilities.
Suppose you have some assets and liabilities, and you want to determine your net worth. Your assets include cash, savings account, retirement account, investments, real estate and a car. On the other hand, you also have some liabilities including personal loan, auto loan, student loan, mortgage and other debt. As an example, the following table provides a summary of how much every asset and liability is worth, for John.
|Retirement Account||$70,000||Auto Loan||$15,000|
|Total Assets||$350,000||Total Liabilities||$300,000|
It is clear that an individual will have a different net worth over their lifetime. Usually, the net worth is lower when a person is young and it increases steadily over the life of a person. This is because many people tend to earn more than they spend, so they can increase their net worth every time they get paid. In addition to that, some liquid and illiquid assets tend to provide a return, which means that an individual who has money invested will increase their net worth with their income and the return on their investments.
Thus the net worth of an average Canadian also largely depends on their age. For example, as of 2019, the median net worth of a person who is under 35 years old is around $48,800 while the median net worth of a person whose age is between 35 and 44 years is $234,400. The table below shows the median net worth for different age groups. It also provides insight into how the net worth changes over the lifetime of a person. It steadily increases as the person works and earns income, and it starts decreasing closer to the retirement age. This trend may be due to the fact that individuals and households spend more than they earn closer to the retirement age.
|Age Group||Median Net Worth - 2016||Median Net Worth - 2019*|
|35 to 44||$232,600||$234,400|
|45 to 54||$457,700||$521,100|
|55 to 64||$709,200||$690,000|
|65 And Older||$547,700||$543,200|
Net worth may also change with time and can partially be explained by inflation. For example, the median net worth of individuals under 35 in 2016 was $37,200 while the net worth of the same age group in 2019 was $48,800. Inflation can be calculated over a certain time frame. The inflation rate in Canada from 2016 to 2019 has totaled 5.92% while the median net worth of the individuals under 35 has increased by around 31%, which means that the individuals under 35 have become more wealthy in real terms between 2016 and 2019.
Net worth ranges not only by age but also largely depends on the region a person lives in. The cost of living is different for each province. In addition, the salaries differ from province to province. Because of these differences, the median net worth may be different for the regions that have different salaries and different costs of living. If you are looking to relocate to increase your net worth, you should consider the change in your salary as well as compare the cost of living in different places before making the final decision to relocate.
The following table provides the distribution of the median amount of assets and liabilities as well as the net worth of households in different provinces.
|Province||Median Net Worth - 2016||Median Net Worth - 2019*|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||224,300||247,300|
|Prince Edward Island||216,100||211,400|
The table shows that there is a large range in the median net worth of individuals living in different provinces. For example, the median net worth of a household in Ontario is around $434,500 while the median net worth of a household in New Brunswick is only $185,000. Different factors affect the household net worth in different regions. One of the most important factors that drive the median net worth in Ontario or British Columbia is the real estate prices that have been steadily increasing for years. New Brunswick did not experience as high real estate appreciation as Ontario and British Columbia, so people living in New Brunswick have a lower value of assets and liabilities than those living in other provinces.
Salary differences are also a very important factor that is responsible for the difference in net worth. If you earn more money but your cost of living does not increase, you can save and invest more, which will lead to more income in the future. In this sense, a salary is very important for building an exponentially growing net worth.
Net worth is a good measure to understand how much you are worth right now, but it might not be useful when you look at whether you can pay off upcoming debt payments. That is why differentiation between liquid and illiquid assets as well as short-term and long-term liabilities is important. Missing debt payments on loans, especially on mortgage loans, may lead to a large decrease in your net worth. That is why if you have a lot of short-term liabilities and you don’t have enough liquid assets to cover them, you may want to convert some of your illiquid assets into liquid assets.
Suppose you have some assets and liabilities, and you are worried that you may not have enough money to pay off your short-term debt. Your assets include cash, a retirement account, real estate, and a car. On the other hand, you also have some liabilities including short-term debt and a mortgage. The following table provides an example of how much every asset and liability is worth.
|Cash||$10,000||Debt Due in 1 Year||$50,000|
|Total Assets||$235,000||Total Liabilities||$200,000|
This example shows that the net worth of an individual is positive and is equal to $35,000. On the other hand, the individual only has $10,000 in liquid assets while they also have $50,000 in short-term debt. This means that the individual will have to pay $50,000 by the end of the year, and if they are not planning to earn another $40,000 during the year, they may have to sell their illiquid assets to cover the debt payments.