Chart of the Week: How does net worth vary by age?

Nov 11, 2019
Chart of the Week, Personal Finance, Research

Net Worth is an important concept for your students to grasp. It is basically calculated as assets (think savings accounts, investment accounts, a home, a car) minus liabilities (car loan, mortgage, credit card debt). 

This chart from Flowing Data introduces this concept of net worth and shows how it varies by age:


  • What are examples of financial assets? 
  • When does debt (red bars) hit its peak? Can you explain why? 
  • When do assets peak (green bars) for individuals? Can you explain how assets grow over one's lifetime? 
  • Between what ages do assets seem to have the largest increase? 
  • At what age does the median amount asset value exceed $100,000? 
  • Why do you think that assets seem to remain steady after the age of 65? 


Want your students to analyze more graphs with a personal finance angle? Better check out the NGPF Data Crunch. 



About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.