What the average Briton is worth

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New survey calculates the average adult in the UK has assets of just under £150,000.

The average adult in the UK has a net worth of around £147,000.

That's according to a new study conducted by law firm Irwin Mitchell.

They came to the figure using a formula employed during probate cases and when writing wills, which involves adding up the value of certain key assets an adult is likely to have.

It found that a typical adult had a net worth of £147,134.32 – which is less than 0.1% of what David Beckham is estimated to be worth.

According to last year's Sunday Times Rich List the former footballer is worth a whopping £165 million, or £164,852,866 more than the average Brit.

But despite the big difference the firm is urging people to make appropriate plans for the future with what they have.

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Calculating net worth

The firm surveyed 2,000 adults aged from 18 to 55+, though respondents were mainly in the 25-to-45 age group.

They were asked about the value of eight assets: mortgage equity, pension savings, household belongings, investments, cars, normal savings, ISAs and the balance of their current account.

These are the largest assets most commonly found in probate cases and are the ones asked about when it comes to writing a will.

The table below displays the average values per asset gathered from the research from largest to smallest.

Asset

Average value

Mortgage equity

£75,060.45

Pension

£30,000

Household belongings

£15,077.90

Investments

£9,624.63

Car

£6,706.55

Savings

£5,603.98

ISA

£3,712.65

Current account balance

£1,348.16

Total net worth

£147,134.32


Source: Irwin Mitchell

According to the study mortgage equity makes up most of a person's net worth, contributing over half to the final overall figure at £75,060.45. You can work out the amount of mortgage equity you have by taking your home's current market value minus how much you have left to pay on your mortgage.

The next biggest contributor to our wealth is pension savings. On average respondents in the survey had £30,000 built up, or around 20% of our net worth. This is broadly in line with the £36,800 figure the Association of British Insurers estimates is in the average UK pension pot.

The value of our household belongings and car made up 15% of the final total while savings, ISAs and investments only made up around 13%. According to the study we aren't hitting our full cash ISA allowance (£5,640) with an average balance of £3,712.65. However, investments have a much healthier figure at £9,624.63.

Lastly the average balance of a current account made up less than 0.01%.

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Worth more than we think

While those surveyed were found to be worth just under £150,000 on average it appears that figure is more than most people expected.

When asked what they believed they were worth in monetary terms 46% said they had 'no idea', 11% didn't understand the question and 42% didn't think they were worth much at all.

Solicitors from Irwin Mitchell says we're worth more than we might think and are urging people to consider how they want their estate to be administered after they die.

According to the firm, six out of 10 people don't have a will in place and a third don't have any plans to make one. Having nothing to leave anyone and fears of lifelong debt are the most common reasons given for 16 million people not getting the right paperwork in place.

In addition, the survey found that 47% of people don't know how assets are distributed after death, while 54% have no idea what accounts and investments their partner or family has.

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What are you worth?

I've never given much thought to what I'm worth in monetary terms. I've always considered it the
reserve of the rich and famous.

But using the key assets that are normally used to create a picture of personal wealth I've
determined I'm worth £20,000.

That's much less than the six-figure average, as I haven't long bought my first home, don't contribute to a pension scheme or have a significant amount of savings. Clearly I've got some work to do to improve my wealth. However, it is more than I thought and I should probably get something in place to instruct people what to do with my small fortune after I'm gone.

As this survey only looked at 2,000 people you might find the average figure doesn't exactly match up with your situation either. So give it a try and find out how much you're worth exactly – you might be surprised.


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