We’re nearly halfway through the year and so it’s time for my bi-annual net worth update and review for 2017. I was happy to surpass the $500,000 net worth milestone last year and, after paying off our car loan in October, looked forward to cranking up our savings rate and refilling our TFSAs this year.
Everything is going according to plan and we’re on track to meet our savings goals while not adding any new debt. That’s important because to reach my big hairy audacious goal of Freedom 45 our savings rate will need to remain high and we’ll have to avoid the evil temptation of lifestyle inflation.
We’ll accomplish this by keeping our big-ticket purchases in check. We built a house six years ago and plan to stay put for a couple of decades. Our vehicles are paid-off and we keep them in good shape – it helps that I live close to work and we put less than 20,000 kilometres per year (combined) on the two vehicles.
Getting the big things right means money left over to plough into different savings vehicles like our RRSPs, TFSAs, and the kids’ RESPs. We’re saving more than one-third of our income and that amount might be closer to 40 percent by the end of the year.
Here’s a look at the numbers:
Net worth update: 2017 mid-year review
Total Assets – $822,862
- Chequing account – $1,500
- Savings account – $12,500
- RRSP – $152,569
- Defined benefit pension plan – $162,848
- TFSA – $13,812
- RESP – $29,633
- Principal residence – $450,000
Total Liabilities – $248,566
- Mortgage – $242,669
- Home equity line of credit – $5,897
Net worth – $574,296
Now let’s answer a few questions about the way I calculate net worth:
We funnel all of our spending onto the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard. The card pays 2 percent back on every purchase and its new no more tiers redemption program makes it easy to cash in points.
The rest of our banking is done at TD, including our mortgage, line of credit, and investments.
Each month I contribute roughly 12 percent of my salary to a defined benefit pension plan that my employer matches. The amount listed above is the commuted value of the pension if I were to leave the plan today.
The plan pays 2 percent of your highest average salary multiplied by the number of years worked. So that means if I retired at 60 with an average salary of $100,000 I’d receive $60,000 per year from the pension plan.
RRSP / RESP
The right way to calculate net worth is to use the same formula consistently over time to help track and achieve your financial goals.
My preferred method is to list the current value of my RRSP and RESP plans rather than discounting their future value to account for taxes and distributions.
I consider a net worth statement to be a snapshot of your current financial picture, so when it comes time to draw from my RRSP and distribute the RESP to my kids, net worth will decrease accordingly.
We bought our home nearly six years ago and, even though the market has gone up, I’ve continued to list the value at purchase price.
Overall it’s great to see our net worth grow by more than $40,000 since the end of last year. One-quarter of that increase can be chalked-up to the surging stock markets – my RRSP portfolio is up 8.2 percent on the year.
The rest of the increase is due to good old-fashioned saving: $1,000 per month into the TFSA, $1,000 into my pension, $500 into the RESP, $1,000 onto the line of credit, plus the mortgage balance decreases by roughly $1,000 per month. It starts to add up quick!
At this rate we should be on track to reach a net worth of $625,000 by the end of 2017.
The two major measuring sticks I’m using for my longer-term planning are:
- $1,000,000 net worth by 41
- Financial freedom by 45
The million-dollar milestone is just that, a post I’m trying to hit on the way to financial freedom.
I plan to reach financial freedom by age 45 and what that means to me is the income earned from my investments and online business will be greater than our household expenses – a sign that I’d no longer have to work as a salaried employee. To get there we’ll need to pay off our mortgage and have a big, fat investment portfolio.
Each of these updates brings us closer to our goal, and the closer we get the more motivated we become to achieve it. How is 2017 treating you, financially?