Put simply, your net worth is your total assets minus your total liabilities. It is a snapshot in time of your actual wealth and financial health.
According to the CSO Household Finance and Consumption Survey 2020, the median net worth of a household in Ireland is €193,100.
When calculating your net worth, you will add up all the assets you own including items such as; cash, property, investments in financial assets, motor vehicles and other valuables such as jewellery and then deduct any liabilities that you have.
The liabilities could include personal loans such as student debt, car loans, mortgages and credit cards.
Never calculated your net worth before? Then check out our calculator below that will help you work it out.
NET WORTH CALCULATOR
How much do you need to be worth to be in the top 10% in Ireland
To be considered to be in the top wealthiest 10% of people in Ireland you need to have €788,400.
Below is a breakdown of the what the net wealth range is for each percentile according to the CSO.
|Between €502,300 and €788.399||Top 20%|
|Between €359,601 and €502,300||Top 30%|
|Between €262,701 and €359,600||Top 40%|
|Between €193,101 and €262,700||Top 50%|
|Between €127,801 and €193,100||Bottom 50%|
|Between €58,901 and €127,800||Bottom 40%|
|Between €10,901 and €58,900||Bottom 30%|
|Between €601 and €10,900||Bottom 20%|
|€600 or less||Bottom 10%|
Why net worth is more important than Income
When people start discussing and comparing their personal finance situations, the conversations often do not go past talking about income. There is a tool on Linkedin called ‘Salary Insights’ that you can use to compare your salary against your peers that you might find useful if you feel embarrassed about having these conversations with friends.
While someone with a higher income is more likely to have a better chance of building real wealth it is not always the case.
Often poor financial habits or lifestyle creep can mean that a person on a much lower income can still be saving more and end up with a higher net worth.
An extreme example would be that Elon Musk technically has no income as he takes no salary from any of his companies, but he has the highest net worth in the world.
When an investor is assessing a company and wants to check out how healthy it is, the first thing they will do is look at the company’s balance sheet and check its current assets and current liabilities. Your net worth is the equivalent of a company balance sheet.
Your financial decisions will be much better if you consider their effect on your overall net worth.
The importance of tracking your net worth over time
You wouldn’t just go to the doctor and check your health once when you are 30, get the okay from the doctor and then never go again.
Similarly, you should be tracking the increase or decrease of your net worth over time.
Let’s take a simple example – a person recently bought a home worth €200,000 with a mortgage but put up 10% of the purchase price themselves. Asides from the property they have €6,000 in cash.
At todays date their net worth is calculated as €26,000 (being the equity in the property of €20k + €6k cash).
Each month that the borrower makes a mortgage repayment, some of the repayment will go against the principal and some will go against the interest. The interest accrued on a mortgage is heavily stacked to the first few years.
Therefore, each mortgage repayment will increase their net worth slightly. Let’s say after 6 months, they have managed to pay down €3,000 of the principal amount of their mortgage.
But in that time, the property market has taken a dip and property values across the country are down 10%.
If we now recalculate the net worth six months later it is as follows:
The property is now worth €180,000, the mortgage outstanding is €177,000 and they still have cash of €6,000. This leaves them with a net worth of €9,000. A drop of €17,000 over the six month period.
This highlights the importance of checking and tracking your net worth over time as we often assume our net worth will only continue to increase.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed ad financial advice.