If you are curious how your bank account compares to the average net worth of twentysomethings, look no further. Financial planning website The College Investor has estimated average net worth of those ages 18 through 35, so you can finally see if other young adults have to eat as much ramen as you do. Looking at the uber-successful folks in our generation can give you a skewed idea of where we stand fiscally as a whole (you know Mark Zuckerberg can afford to buy all the name brand toilet paper he wants). While many of us feel uncomfortable talking about our salary and debt, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t constantly wondering if we are saving enough, making the right investments, or if we are getting paid competitively compared to our peers.
The median net worth of Millennials is $10,400, according to the most recent Survey of Consumer Finances by the Federal Reserve. This means that after all your liabilities/debts owed (student loan payments for instance) are deducted from your assets owned, you only need to have a bit over 10 grand in the bank to have more moolah than the average Millennial. This may seem like a low number, but we have to take into account that it is a generalization for a large swath of population. Those who are between 18 and 35 are all going through different transitional life events — they may be starting college, wrapping up grad school, buying houses and starting families.
College Investor uses student loan debt, salary, and savings to make their calculations, as well as pointing out the that graduating in the midst of a financial crisis also takes its toll. Here is their calculation of the average Millennial net worth by age:
It seems on average that Millennials don't get out of the red till they hit 30 (which makes me breath a sigh of relief). One of the main reasons why is that student loan debt has grown exponentially with this year's graduating class setting a record high. In 2016, seniors are graduating with an average debt of $37,172 — which is a pretty heavy load to carry when you are just starting out. Those who graduated in 2015 carried on average $35,050 debt, which is still quite a lot. While those at the other end of the Millennial spectrum graduating in 2003 had an average of only $18,271.
So have starting salaries increased to offset the student loan debt? Yeah. Right. According to The Atlantic, the median income for a 29-year-old in the U.S. is approximately $35,000. But there is a glimmer of hope — starting salaries are increasing overall, The Wall Street Journal reports. 2015 college graduates are earning an average starting salary of $50,651, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and in 2016 that number is expected to rise to $51,100. That is way up from our brethren who graduated in 2003, and were met with an average pay of $40,818. While the extra $10,000 helps, it sadly does not offset the doubling of student loans.
These numbers may not seem very pleasant to look at (especially the ones with the minuses next to them), but there is always time to change your financial situation. The College Investor suggests that to boost net worth, focus on tackling debts and doing what you can to increase your income. And who knows? Soon you may even be buying name brand products with the rest of the young tech moguls.