Why I don’t include Mr. HECC’s Savings in My Networth

We’re married – shouldn’t I look at “networth” as our family networth? I imagine many of the “networth” amounts listed on Rockstar Finance’s Blogger Networth Directory include total family networth. I choose to leave my independent.

Why? When one retires, she needs a specific amount of income to live life to her current standards. A partner may have different standards, and may not require to save as much. Personally, my goal has always been a minimum of $2M before I retire. Ideally I’ll see a number more like $3M-$5M. According to CNN’s Retirement Calculator I need $8M to retire. Yikes. Hubby “only” needs $3M.

For my net worth, if I put in $20k a year for 35 years, I get to $4.6M (with 5% YoY growth – I like to plan conservatively and be pleasantly surprised in the future ) – surely enough to retire comfortably on, but not enough to maintain my current standard of living (amazingly enough.) In order to get closet to my goal (well, $500k short), I have to put away $50,000 a year for the next 35 years.

More realistically, however, I won’t get to this magical $8M goal. But at my husband’s current savings rate, he’s less likely to hit $3M. However, his potential inheritance may help him out a bit, which is likely why he’s not too worried  (single child of a mother who is so frugal she has lived at her parent’s home for free her entire life.) My parents are going to go bankrupt at the rate they’re spending (which is unfortunate, because they were actually quite well off for a while there…)

If we were to look at our net worth together, we’d be at about $570k. I’m certainly going to work with him on getting his investing act together for retirement, but I also know he’d be happy moving to the middle of nowhere and reading for the rest of his life, so his cost of living requirements will be much lower than mine in retirement.

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How do you calculate your family’s net worth? Do you keep individual net worth or blend?

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2 comments

  1. georgehpuck says:

    I always believe in counting my wife and I as a couple.

    We do the Dave Ramsey style of budgeting. Each month she and I make a budget that plans out every dollar of our income.

    I am the nerd so I do the budget, then she and I sit down for a few minutes and go over last months spending and review the budget I put together. We talk about each line item and then at the end of the discussion, she makes at least one change to the budget I put together.

    That way we both have ownership of the spending. IF we want to make a significant change to our budget, we meet mid month to discuss the change and take the money from another area of our budget.

    Similarly out net worth is one and the same. Our retirement planning is together.

  2. SP says:

    Do you believe the CNN numbers? That calculator bases your need only on your income, and ignores your savings rate. $8M would give you $320k/year at a 4% safe withdrawal rate. I don’t know how much we need, but I don’t think it will be $8M.

    We definitely do joint net worth since our finances are joint. In Cali, half of what you earn during the marriage is technically his (and vice versa), but that doesn’t matter as long as you stay married.

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