‘Joneses Syndrome’: Net Worth vs Peers
According to the most recent Fed data (from 2019), Americans aged under 35 have a median net worth of $13,900, while their average net worth is $76,300. The median net worth of the typical 40-year-old is $436,200, while the average is $91,300.
By age 50, the median net worth has climbed to $168,600, while the average is nearing the seven figures, at $833,200. By 60, median net worth reaches $212,500, while the average peaks at $1,175,900.
In 2020, there were more millennial workers in the US labor force than any other generation, yet they controlled just 4.6% of the country's total wealth, per Federal Reserve data. Baby boomers, by comparison, enjoyed vastly more economic power much earlier on in their lives.
“Older generations will always be wealthier than younger generations; they have the key factor on their side: time,” says Caleb Vering, associate wealth advisor of Farnam Financial. “Patience and consistency are paramount for Millennials in building wealth.”
Fortunately for the young, there are now more accessible investment vehicles are more varied and more accessible than ever before. However, this rapidly evolving investment landscape creates choice overload, and picking the right asset class and strategy can often lead to analysis paralysis.
“Our best advice is to start investing in stocks, keep investing in stocks, and stay invested in stocks. Working with an advisor can help tailor your portfolio to your goals and needs.”
Amidst rising financial anxiety among young people, it may be tempting for individuals to compare themselves to others by net worth.
Financial discipline: Living thriftily, curbing debts, and embracing a strategic investment path can go a long way to securing financial satisfaction. Ultimately, however, financial well-being is subjective and comes down to the deeper values of each individual.