How Does Your Net Worth Compare To The Canadian Average

How Does Your Net Worth Compare With the Average Canadian?

How Does Your Net Worth Compare With the Average Canadian #personalfinance #networth

“Am I financially on track?”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever asked yourself that question.

I know I have. All the freaking time.

That’s why I calculate my net worth every month, and benchmark it against my target retirement number.

That’s why I subscribe to other bloggers’ net worth updates, just to see how my net worth fares in comparison.

And that is also why I am sharing Statistics Canada’s latest (2016) data on the average Canadian’s net worth with all of you, so you can get a better sense of how your money is doing in the grand scheme of things.

Not sure what your current net worth is? Feel free to grab my net worth spreadsheet that will make calculating and tracking the growth of your net worth easy peasy.

Without further ado, here are the average and median net worths of Canadians in every age group:

Age GroupMedian Net WorthAverage Net Worth
Under 35 Years9,70062,100
35 to 44 Years76,000*214,000
45 to 54 Years88,000*290,400
55 to 64 Years227,800505,500
65 Years and Older277,000493,400

* This figure is not as reliable as the rest of the table.

Source: Survey of Financial Security (SFS) by Statistics Canada

As you can see, this table has separate columns for average and median values.

  • The median net worth marks the exact mid-point. Half of Canadians’ net worths are lower than the median and the other half’s net worths are higher than the median.
  • The average net worth is the total of all net worths divided by population (or sample size).

Now let’s talk about what these numbers reveal about Canadians’ financial health.

The General Trends:

As expected, both median and average net worths increase (for the most part) with age. The older someone is, the more time they have had to save and invest, and let compound interest work its magic.

We also notice a small dip in net worth immediately following the traditional retirement age of 65. This is also completely normal, since most retirees no longer bring in a regular income from their 9-to-5, and subsist by drawing on their nest egg.

The Worrisome Parts:

The median net worths are worryingly low within every single age group.

Half of the country is entering retirement with a net worth of less than CA$227,800, which is hardly enough to provide for a comfortable 30-year-long retirement, when you factor in long-term care and increased medical expenses.

Additionally, if you’re a 30 year old with CA$10,000 to your name, you’re doing better than half of your peers.

It’s not so much that having a net worth of CA$10,000 at 30 is terrible, it’s just that I know we could collectively do so much better, if only we take our finances seriously a tad earlier in life.

Financial literacy is the name of the game.

And this is coming from someone who spent the golden years of wealth accumulation (my 20s) basking in consumerist bliss, and as a result, had to work twice as hard to get ahead of the curve.

Yup, I learned my lessons the hard way, so I launched this personal finance blog so others don’t make the same mistake of ignoring their finances until it’s almost too late.

Where We Go From Here:

Regardless, if you have surpassed the average or the median net worth figure of your age group, you have every reason to be proud. Keep up the good work!

If not, it’s not the end of the world. It might be tough, but it’s definitely possible to boost your finances at any age and retire wealthy.

Building your wealth is all about earning ambitiously, spending smartly, saving diligently, and investing wisely.

As long as you got these 4 things figured out, you’re in good shape.

Earning ambitiously: The more you earn, the more options you have in life and with money. While I don’t advocate for chasing the biggest paycheck at the expense of your integrity, I am not oblivious to the fact that, all else being equal, a higher salary will get you to your wealth goals faster.

Spending smartly: Make sure your spending is aligned with your values and brings you long-lasting joy, and not dictated by the Joneses. 

Saving diligently: A penny saved is worth two pennies earned. Setting money aside prevents you from going into debts on rainy days, and grants you the freedom of choice and financial security.

Investing wisely: Investing is the engine that turns your saved dollar bills into even more dollar bills, and not nearly as intimidating as it sounds.

Michelle Obama quote

No matter where you are on your financial journey, the mere fact that you’re reading a personal finance blog suggests that you’ve overcome the No. 1 hurdle to getting rich – desire, and that you’ve got what it takes to achieve your financial goals.

Last but not least, if you’re coupled up, please check out my post How Does Your Net Worth Compare With The Average Canadian Couple for more net worth goodies.

Is your net worth higher or lower than the national average (or median)? Please share with us in the comments below. 

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Category: GeneralMoney For Beginners

15 comments

    1. The numbers don’t reflect a typical mortgage; they reflect an average, including plenty of people who don’t have any kind of mortgage. Since nobody in Vancouver can afford one, it stands to reason the number would be low here too 😛

      (Joking to some degree, obviously)

    2. We all feel poor in Canada because we are taxed heavily. My retirement goals involve spending half the year in another country, my money will go further and the winters will be warmer. I have done much better with real estate than with my RRSP’s because of leverage. If you buy a live in rental property you can have the bonus of getting rental income to help with retirement, forget about the perfect house with the white picket fence, buy a triplex and live happily ever after.

  1. How can numbers be cute ? I personally think that your net worth and the amount that you need for retirement also depend upon where you live. Someone can accumulate less money in a different province but still be able to live comfortably because their cost of living isn’t as high.

    1. Oddly, despite much lower housing costs outside of Vancouver or Toronto, people do not accumulate any additional wealth or savings than those in high housing cost areas. Real Estate always has been the foundation of wealth for the majority of individuals. Unless you are a tech or business wizard or part of the elite entertainers or athletic group, Invest in Real Estate no matter where you are.

      1. Imagine all the great things those other people can spend their money on though, rather than putting it towards an inflated home price, they can buy a boat, or travel with the family. Savings may be similar, but lifestyles are day and night. Real estate is just a method of forced savings for 90% of the population. Investing in something you pay interest on isn’t always the smart play.

      2. I don’t think real estate investing is superior to investing in liquid assets especially in this current market. There’s a lot of costs to real estate even with the monthly rent as well as the aggravation.

    2. Lol his simply saying those mortgage numbers are nothing compared to the Vancouver/ Toronto area. Which is true if you compare it to other provinces.

  2. Wow, I thought I was poor….
    Forcibly retired at 56 (could not get another job), almost 60 now, and to my surprise I am way above median and average net worth 3 times over.
    So why do I feel poor?

  3. I live in Vancouver. My mortgage is over 350k for a 500ft condo. Where are these tiny mortgage numbers for the under 35 crowd coming from? I’m jealous.

    1. Don’t get frustrated with others because of your own choices.

      I earn dollars and live in Mexico and have never had a better lifestyle. I own my modest home outright and it also generates enough in rental income to cover my basic cost of living.

      I am still working in Canada for now, half of the time, but saving or investing virtually all of my paycheques and will leave my job next year to be in Mexico full time chasing interest, curiosity and waves.

      How did I do it?

      Sold my home in Victoria at an outrageous profit, of course. Something you may also have the option to do.

      We all have choices, and each of them their own set of consequences, some good some bad.

  4. They are tiny mortgage numbers because so few people that age 35 own homes. No home, no mortgage. But since these figures are averages the total mortgage amount outstanding to each age group is divided by number of people in that age group whether they have a mortgage or not.

  5. Net worth might be an interesting number and certainly banks and lending institutions will want to know its value, but as for helping one get to where they want to be, let’s say financial secure during retirement, its an after the fact number, at least to me.
    I now preach, to anyone who wants to listen, that one should invest to generate Income. The idea is to maximize your income, by investing in quality dividend growth companies and take advantage of investing opportunities to grow your income whenever possible.
    If your investment income continually grows at a reasonable rate, why worry about net worth. Once your income exceeds your annual expenses or meets your income goal, your there. Financially secure, because the income will continue to grow even when you stop adding money to your investments.

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Article by: Flora Pang

Flora Pang aspires to become someone who plant trees in their spare time, write thank-you notes to strangers, and perform CPRs on unsuspecting elders. But until then, blogging about personal finance remains her only way of contributing to society. You can catch her rambling about money on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and (to a lesser extent) Pinterest.