Wednesday, January 30, 2013


It has been a long time since I have checked my net worth .. So long in fact that I don't have any old benchmarks to see what my progress has been over the long haul.

As I've been trying to catch up on blogs I used to follow before I checked out on the world, I came across this post at Give Me My 5 Bucks Back and realized it was time to "check in" and run the numbers on my Net worth.

For those of you who aren't sure what Net Worth is, I'll explain briefly. Make a list of all your "Assets" -- anything you could sell for money, including money, and then take all your "liabilities" ---things/places/people you owe money to, and subtract the Assets total from the liabilities total.

That number folks, is your net worth. 

Since I didn't have an old bench mark to compare myself to, I followed the link to the CNN calculator to see what someone my age (26), and someone with my income (approx 43,000) was doing. to compare.

The results are on the side here. In case you didn't pay attention in STAT'S class in college, the "Median" Value is the "middle number." If you listed all the networth values for someone my age, or someone with my income, in a line, the Median Value would be the number in the middle of the line.

EX:   -10....8....12...10....15......20....20....21....46

In that list of numbers, the Median number is 15. This math method is nice because it tosses out the really off numbers of negative 10 and 46 from the list which could really throw off an "average."

What do the charts tell me?
Apparently young people don't have a whole lot of money at this stage in the game. My emergency fund alone is more than the amount that someone my age is worth, so I know i'm rocking and surpassing that bench mark.

But what about income? Apparently by this point, if i'm "in the middle," I need to have $34,375.00 to be normal... But we all know PF blogger's aren't really normal... We save, we focus, we accomplish...

But $34k?  I was honestly a bit curious if I was near that. When I think about cash on hand, I knew I didn't have that much money just sitting there in my bank account, waiting for me... but what about my retirement accounts... and my condo value.... It's actually been so long since I looked at my retirement accounts collectively instead of individually to gauge what they are doing and how much I have in assesses today.

So, I added it up...
Who deserves a party??? THIS GIRL DOES!!!!

I have almost triple the net worth of the CNN benchmark... Dang! I'm literally floored right now and it still doesn't seem real yet. How did I get almost $60k in my retirement accounts??? I know a huge hunk is my pension, but that's my cash value amount. If I quit tomorrow and take the money in the account, I get that in a check (which I would then need to pay taxes on, but that's another thing all together.) Seriously, when did that happen and where was I??


  1. Re your pension--DO NOT ever take that money out of your account. You're young and may find a job at a non-pension company but you never know if you'll end up in another civic job. I made the mistake of taking the pension money--fast forward 20 years and I was back with a PERS pension paying job. I paid to "buy back" my previous time. While worth it, it was expensive to do.
    Also, in my mind, you should count your pension in terms of what you will receive when you retire or start collecting it. For instance, I retired at 57 and my pension is @ $2,200. Since they advise taking no more than 4% from other retirement accounts, this means my pension is worth @ $650,000 (4% of $650,000 is $26,000 per year. my pension is $26,400).
    Hope that makes sense.

    1. I'm not planing on pulling it out because it earns an automatic 6% annual interest with no risk-- especially since I'm already vested so even if I leave tomorrow, I can still take a pension at 55 (50 if I really want to take a % hit).

      But i'm not so sure about evaluating it like that... because it would be a lot of money... way more than the cash value in the account.

      If I wait until i'm 55 and keep working, I'll get $2,790 a month (based on my current salary... and the option we'd choose so my hubby would receive money if I snuff it.) so that's $33,480 a year... with your 4% rule that's $835,000...

      but I haven't earned that yet. If I quit today/got fired, and waited to pull the pension, right now I'd get $732 a month... or $8,794 a year... and that would make it worth almost $220,000 now because 4% of that is $8,800.00 according to your formula...

      I think i'd rather under report its value and use the cash figure for the time being in case they change the retirement formulas in the future. Other wise i'd have a net worth of almost 300k and that just doesn't seem to match up with what I feel we are worth...

  2. Why don't you plan to take the pension option of paying only for yourself and buy life insurance to offset what your hubby would get. You will come out way ahead in the long run.

    1. I never thought of that... Would that really be cheaper??

      I have the option of taking a lesser amount now, and if I die, he would continue to get that same monthly check I would have gotten... but if he dies first, it would automatically go back to the larger amount I originally qualified for.