How to measure financial success

Measurement 7.

Net worth

We saved the best for last – the most complete measure of how rich you are.

In the simplest of terms, net worth is your assets minus your liabilities. It's what you would have left over if you sold everything you owned and paid your debts.

"You might have a lot saved up, but it may be offset by a lot of debt," says Mari Adam, president of Adam Financial Associates in Boca Raton, Florida. "This tells you what really matters, and what you've got when push comes to shove,"

Our new worth calculator can help you do the calculations – and make sure you don't forget anything.

So how much should you have to feel like your financial life is on track?

The Federal Reserve's new Survey of Consumer Finances found that the median family net worth was:

  • Age 35 to 44: $46,700
  • Age 45 to 54: $105,300
  • Age 55 to 64: $179,400
  • Age 65 to 74: $232,100

The Wealthometer: USA, created by an economics professor at Harvard University, shows where you stand financially with respect to other Americans.