Net Worth Series 40s: How Much Should You Have at the Age of 40 – 49

Net Worth Series 40s

In this net worth series, I will share the net worth that a person in an age bracket (by decade) should have. We have discussed net worth for the 20s (click here to read) and 30s (click here to read) in the previous posts. In this post, we will talk about the desired net worth of a person in the 40s.

Data source

Before we begin, let me explain the sources of my data. As I could not find the exact data for Malaysians’ net worth, I decided to use the EPF Basic Savings table as an approximation (click here for the table). However, the basic savings are intended to provide RM 1,000 per month for a period of 20 years, which I think is not enough. Thus, I am going to double the amount of the basic savings as the desired net worth.

Besides that, I am also going to share the income level by age group. The data that I use comes from Employee Wages Statistics (Formal Sector) Report for the third quarter of 2023. You can access the report by clicking here.

Keep in mind that this is based on my personal opinion and it just serves as a reference only. So, let’s start now.

Net worth series 40s

According to the EPF Basic Savings table, the recommended savings at age 40 is RM 86,000 and at age 49 is RM 164,000. The mean is RM 122,500 while the median is RM 120,500. I will take the mean as the amount is higher, so the net worth that a person in 40s should have would be twice of RM 122,500, which is RM 245,000.

Net worth is your total assets minus total liabilities (click here to learn more about net worth). Thus, after deducting all the debts, a person in 40s should have RM 245,000 under his/her name. However, as this is an average number, I will provide a range here. The range is from RM 172,000 to RM 328,000. If you are in your 40s and your net worth is within this range, you are on target. It would be better if your net worth is at least RM 245,000. You excel if your net worth is more than RM 328,000 before 50 years old.

Income level at 40s

Now, we shall move to the income. According to the report from Department of Statistics Malaysia, the median monthly wages for age group of 40 – 44 is RM 3,427 and for age group of 45 – 49 is RM 3,500. Thus, the income level for 40s ranges from RM 3,427 to RM 3,500 per month, translating to annual income of RM 41,124 to RM 42,000.

In my opinion, a person in his/her 20s should have one time his/her annual income as net worth; thrice in 30s; quintuple in 40s; and seven times in 50s. However, this is just my personal opinion and I will explain my rationale below.

A person in the 40s has approached his/her peak earning years, as can be seen from the median salary earned in this decade. This is the time when a person should pay more attention to the retirement savings. However, this decade also represents the time when the children are starting school and commitments also increase. Thus, it is important to balance between current needs and future needs.

Based on the figures above, the ideal net worth for 40s is between RM 205,620 to RM 210,000.

Savvy financial moves during your 40s

Growing financial responsibilities can make building net worth especially challenging during the 40s. One way to meet the challenge is to avoid falling into the trap of lifestyle creep.

Some financial moves to take include:

1. Maximise your earnings.

2. Focus on your retirement. 

3. Streamline your investment portfolio .

4. Help your parents plan for their old age.

5. Draw up or revisit a will and/or a trust.

6. Reevaluate your insurance coverage.

7. Check in on your children’s college savings, if applicable.


As income grows, you may be tempted to try to “keep up with the Joneses” by moving into a bigger home, driving exotic cars or going on expensive vacations. It may be okay to enjoy the fruits of your labor, but keeping expenditures like these in check may go a long way toward building net worth during this life stage.

With a target and a plan, you will be able to achieve your target net worth. For a start, you may aim for the lower end of the figures above, RM 172,000 and slowly increase it to RM 328,000 (my own calculation).

The next article in this series will be about net worth in 50s.

How can a financial planner help you?

I can help you to clarify your financial goals and objectives, and also set your net worth target together. We will also develop a plan to reach your goals and objectives, including your net worth target. This normally involves saving and investing. Furthermore, I will also help with your tax planning to reduce your tax liability. Depending on your situation, we may also work together in other areas of your finances, such as debt management and estate planning.

If you are interested in working with me to plan for your finances, just leave your details by clicking the button below. I will reach out to you and see if we would be a good fit for each other.

If you are not ready to take action yet, join my email list to receive useful information to improve your finances by clicking here. Receive a free ebook “Tools for Accumulating Retirement Fund in Malaysia” when you sign up now.

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purpose only. You should use judgment and conduct due diligence before taking any action or implementing any plan suggested or recommended in this article.

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