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Here's the average net worth of people under 35

Net worth (your assets minus debts) tends to increase as you age and grow in your career. Select breaks down the average net worth of 20-somethings.

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When you're just starting out and juggling student loan debt and an entry-level salary, it's not surprising if you don't have much to your name. But as you move into adulthood and grow in your career, it's likely your net worth will grow, too.

Of course, age isn't the only factor in determining net worth, which is calculated by subtracting how much debt you owe from the total value of your assets (cash, investments, property, etc.). It varies widely depending on a person's income, employment status, life stage, cost of living, inheritances and more. But this number can be helpful to know where you stand financially, and where you want to go.

According to the Fed, the median net worth for people under 35 is $13,900. The average net worth is $76,300. Very high net worth Americans skew the average numbers higher, so it's helpful to look at the median to have a better sense of where most Americans fall on the net worth spectrum.

Here's a breakdown of both median and average American net worth by age, according to the Fed's latest Survey of Consumer Finances from 2019.

Household net worth by age

Age of head of family Median net worth Average net worth
Less than 35$13,900$76,300
35-44$91,300$436,200
45-54$168,600$833,200
55-64$212,500$1,175,900
65-74$266,400$1,217,700
75+$254,800$977,600

What 20-somethings need to do to build their net worth

Your net worth is fluid and constantly changing as you borrow, save, invest and pay back money. In your later years, after life's biggest (and most expensive) milestones are paid for, your net worth has the potential to keep growing thanks to the stock market and the value of your assets appreciating.

Use a net worth calculator to plug in your numbers and find out where you stand today. This will be your starting point and help you think big picture about how the financial choices you make right now might impact your future.

Budgeting apps such as You Need a Budget (YNAB), Personal Capital and Mint make it easy to track your net worth. Users link their financial accounts, including checking, savings, money markets, CDs and retirement accounts. This also goes for liabilities: Add any credit cards and/or loans so that you have an up-to-date snapshot of your net worth as you pay off debt and see your debt balances down and your net worth go up.

To grow your wealth, make saving and investing a priority at an early age. Think about how much you want to have saved in the future and break it down into smaller payments you can afford today. Thanks to compound interest, saving 15% of your paychecks every month starting when you get your first job could help you earn up to 10 times your income by retirement age.

Beyond savings, real estate is a common way that people build their net worth. While renting affords you flexibility and could save you on home repair and maintenance costs, putting equity into a home helps your net worth grow as property values increase. It's not completely without risk, but the real estate market does tend to give back if you're patient.

Saving up for a home starts with a down payment: Putting 20% down may earn you better rates on your mortgage, but some first-time homeowner programs require as little as 3.5% down for financing.

Think ahead and take advantage of high-yield savings accounts and/or CDs to earn higher interest on your savings. The five-year Ally Bank High Yield CD ranks on Select's list of the top CDs and has a fixed 0.85% APY that's nearly three times the national five-year CD average.

Check out our full roundup of savings products to find the best fit for your needs.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.