Net worth

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For individuals, Net worth is simply the amount by which assets exceed liabilities. [1] Net worth is usually tracked with a net worth statement. Individuals may also want to prepare statements which measure the value of an estate for estate tax evaluation as well as a statement showing the amount of the estate subject to probate.

Net worth statements

A net worth statement reports the market value of your assets and the balance owed on your debts at a MOMENT in time (compare to an income statement and/or budget). For example, you might create a net worth statement for yourself as of December 31, 2014. The difference between the total value of your assets and the total balance of your debt is your net worth.[2]

Reasons for creating a net worth statement include: [2]

  • To check your progress towards financial goals;
  • To plan for changes in assets or liabilities;
  • To keep tax liability to a minimum;
  • To estimate how well dependent survivors would be able to live off their current inheritance if you were to die in the near future;
  • To determine the need for life and property insurance;
  • To serve as a reminder to make adjustments in insurance coverage or assets held;
  • To give an estimate of retirement savings progress;

Assets

For U.S. citizens, general asset categories included in the net worth statement include :

  • Bank accounts: commonly the value of checking and savings accounts; certificates of deposit.
  • Investment accounts: commonly the market value of stocks, bonds, mutual funds.
  • Retirement accounts: commonly the market value of employer-provided contribution plans and personal retirement plans.
  • Residential and other real-estate: the market value of property
  • Cash value of insurance or pensions
  • Market value of personal property: commonly autos, furnishings, and jewelry.
  • Other assets: often this will include business related assets (business value, notes receivable,etc.)

Liabilities

Liabilities include:

  • Credit card balances
  • Lines of credit balances
  • Car loan balances
  • Mortgage balances
  • Student loan balances
  • Other debts
  • Taxes due

The following table provides a sample net worth statement. The net worth is calculated as:

Net worth = (Total assets) - (Total liabilities)
$170,000 = $397,000 - $227,000
Sample Net Worth Statement [3]
Category Amount
Assets
Cash $1,000
Checking $5,000
Savings $5,000
SecuritiesNote (a) $25,000
Accounts/Notes Receivable $0
Real Estate $250,000
Household Goods $2,000
Vehicles $5,000
Cash Value Life Insurance $0
401(k) Plan $75,000
Individual Retirement Accounts $30,000
Other Assets $0
TOTAL ASSETS $397,000
 
Liabilities
Notes Payable Note (b) $20,000
Accounts/Bills Due $1000
Credit Cards Payable $1000
Vehicle Loans $5000
Unpaid Taxes $0
Real Estate Mortgages Payable $200,000
Land Contracts Payable $0
Life Insurance Loans $0
Other Liabilities $0
TOTAL LIABILITIES $227,000
 
NET WORTH $170,000
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND NET WORTH
(Assets always equal Total Liabilities and Net Worth)
$397,000

Note (a): Securities: mutual fund holdings.
Note (b): Notes payable: recently married spouse's student loans.

References

  1. Net Worth Definition | Investopedia, Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Personal Financial Statements, The Center for Financial Studies, South New Hampshire University, FINRA Investor Education Foundation. Viewed 10 April 2015.
  3. Sample Personal Financial Statement, FindLaw.com, Figures added. Retrieved 12 August 2012.

External links

Net worth calculators