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2008 Net Worth Analysis

January 2nd, 2009 at 02:28 am

Once a year, I analyze our net worth to get a current picture of our financial position. To keep things simple, I don't include the value of autos or personal property. I use information from end-of-year statements and assessed values for real estate.

At the moment, fluctuations in our net worth do not have a significant impact on our lives. It helps that we live below our means and our income provides for our needs. In the future we will need to use assets to generate some income, but for now we are able to hold off. For example, we will draw from our assets if our pensions fail to keep pace with inflation (likely) or some other unexpected life event requires it. At 70 1/2 we will begin the mandatory Required Minimum Distributions from the tax-sheltered accounts.

Now that I've completed our net worth analysis for 2008, I know my goal of increasing our net worth by 5% in 2009 is very ambitious (see sidebar). Factors that could help: if real estate values bottom out and interest rates start to creep up... both possible, albeit not likely until the latter part of 2009, if at all. So we will see how things stand a year from now. Check out the page on my sidebar for my 2008 Net Worth Analysis if you are interested.

If you're curious how your own net worth stacks up against others your age and income bracket, use this calculator to compare. I did, and I learned our net worth is above the median for people our age and income bracket... reassuring given that our net worth took a drop in 2008.

Here's another interesting idea: net worth vs. wealth. According to the calculator from The Millionaire Next Door, I am a PAW and my dh is an AAW. Authors Stanley and Danko argue that total net worth alone does not tell a good enough picture of one's wealth. What matters is how much worth you can accumulate on your income considering your own age. Therefore, a 30 year old making $25,000 who has a net worth of $80,000 has more relative wealth than a 50 year-old doctor making $200,000 a year who is only worth $500,000.

Both of the above calculators were borrowed from the Millionaire Mommy Next Door blog. She has a post with 110 calculators... a very handy resource.

1 Responses to “2008 Net Worth Analysis”

  1. scfr Says:

    Thank you for the interesting post, and thank you for sharing the link to all the calculators!

    Good luck with your 2009 goal!

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