If you are a Financial Independence/Early Retirement (FIRE) blogger, at some point early on you probably had to make the decision of whether to post your Net Worth for your readers to see.
A lot of factors go into whether or not you want to post your net worth for the world to see, such as, are you blogging anonymously, semi-anonymously or as yourself? Do you ever plan to reveal yourself if blogging anonymously? Etc.
Rockstar Finance has a great directory of bloggers who post their Net Worths.
As many of you already know, I do post my own Net Worth on the site for everyone to see.
I list at the beginning of every report the reasons I post them and those are all still valid to me. I do it for personal reasons, such as holding myself accountable to the goals I’ve set, as well as to go into detail to show others how exactly my net worth increases on a monthly basis and what actions I am taking with my finances.
Being anonymous, that decision was slightly easier as I understand the concerns such as privacy that many non-anonymous bloggers face.
I respect either decision a blogger makes. After all, good financial advice is good financial advice whether or not you know the net worth of the person saying it.
However, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that, for the most part, it doesn’t really matter if you share your Net Worth or not.
It doesn’t matter if you share your Net Worth
Ultimately, the vast majority of the bloggers out there in the FIRE sphere put a personal touch on their blog.
I love this about them as the personal touch truly makes each one unique and interesting!
However much they choose to reveal is of course up to them, but most often reveal a couple key details.
- When they will become Financially Independent, or plan to walk away from their job and “retire” (not getting into the debate of what that means!)
- Where they are at now (their age, if they are in debt/have loans or how many years away they are from FIRE)
- Their lifestyle (how much they save/spend)
With just these three details most readers can get a general sense of what your net worth actually is.
How is that?
Unless you are brand new here, you probably have heard of something called the 4% rule.
It basically just means that you need to have 25 times your annual expenses to become Financially Independent and never have to work again to support yourself.
The above details combined with the knowledge that just about everyone chasing FIRE generally follows the 4% rule can pretty much lead you to a range what their net worth is.
While the range may be bigger the farther away they are from Financial Independence, the closer they get to their FIRE date, the more certainty you would know where they are at.
Most people also reveal their lifestyle they live now or plan to live which gives you a sense of their planned spending.
For instance, at the low end, more frugal people are comfortable spending anywhere from $20K-$30K/year (would need a total net worth of $500,000-$750,000), moderate spenders from $30K-$50K/year (total new worth $750,000-$1,250,000) and at the higher end spending is $50K/year and up (net worth $1,250,000+). (Actual thresholds are up for debate!)
The closer you are to Financial Independence, the closer you are to one of these predetermined ranges that essentially everyone knows about.
What’s the point of this?
Essentially the point of this post is to highlight that for most bloggers, any consistent reader they have would be able to take a good stab at what your net worth is, especially as you get closer to Financial Independence or have already achieved it.
Once you get closer to those higher numbers, does it really even matter?
What I mean by that is; what’s the difference whether someone thinks your net worth is $1,000,000 or $1,250,000? $1,250,000 or $1,500,000?
Most people list privacy as the number one reason why they don’t share their net worth. But how private are you really being if you’re saying you are close to being Financially Independent or already are?
A majority of people target that $1,000,000+ number to give them a more comfortable early retirement lifestyle. To the average reader $1,000,000 is a whole lot of money that may take them a lifetime to accumulate.
I understand if you are further away from FI and not anonymous that you may want to keep your actual net worth hidden from family or friends that could be reading. That’s a big reason I chose to go anonymous myself.
But eventually you are going to hit your FI date and number in which case everyone will have that large number in mind for what your net worth is. Does that make sense?
Like I said earlier, I have no issues at all with people not sharing their net worth. That’s personal information that should only be definitively shared if you want it to be.
The only point I’m trying to make is that, if you keep up with blogging until you reach Financial Independence, everyone will end up knowing you’re most likely over a millionaire anyways!
What are your opinions on people sharing their net worth? Why do you or do you not share your net worth?
12 thoughts to “It Doesn’t Matter If You Share Your Net Worth”
Hah good point that most people can extrapolate numbers from the 4% rule. Or, depending on the blogger’s tolerance for risk, at least have a baseline guess of it’s AT LEAST x. Either way, anyone who’s FI and planning for rising costs in the future, especially for healthcare costs, is a millionaire.
I’ve given a ballpark number net worth number before since I had a net worth goal last year (and posted one for this year but have largely dropped that since I have no control over how that ultimately ends up), but I don’t share the actual number, despite the fact that I’m anonymous. Mainly for comparison purposes. I KNOW that there’s no use in comparing myself to others, but still can’t seem to help feeling behind when I see other peoples’ numbers; I don’t want anyone else to compare themselves to me and feel the same way. So I compromised with posting my actual monthly numbers. Which gives anyone who cares a hint as to how my net worth grows each month too 😉
Yep that’s exactly my point, and once people know you’re at least a millionaire, what’s the difference between a 1 and 1.5 millionaire? (Or any other amount over that really)
Agreed with your point on dropping the net worth goal, this will be the last year I do that too.
That’s a good middle ground though! The comparison between people is tough because so much of it has to do with how much you make which is why I like to be fully transparent about everything!
The reason I keep our mortgage / daycare payments out of my monthly expense updates are to keep a little bit of privacy when it comes to our incomes specifically because I’m not anonymous. However, the biggest reason I don’t think exact numbers are that important is because they can be discouraging to someone with a lower income. No matter how well we do on the savings side, we aren’t making a mid six figure income each, which means we’ll never be able to hit those crazy 80-90% savings rates. Why I find most interesting the month to month comparison for a specific person versus comparing person to person.
Agreed! It’s easy for me to post my net worth as I’m blogging anonymously, but I think there’s definitely a different mindset about it if you aren’t.
I love that point though, theres really no use comparing yourself to others as everyone’s situation is different. Seeing others month to month comparisons is where it’s at!
Just might make it difficult to transition away from anonymity if you ever want to make that choice 😉
Very true, but as I mentioned in the post, if I make it blogging to whenever I reach FI, it’ll be easier for a potential reveal since everyone would have a pretty good idea what I’m worth anyways! Plus by that point my family/friends would have caught on I must have good money since I’m not working a full time (or any) job anymore 😂
I took awhile before I shared my net worth. I wasn’t sure how people would react but honestly most people didn’t care. So my worries were unfounded that people would be judgy.
That’s good to hear! I personally like doing it as it holds me accountable, but also so people can see exactly what I’m doing with my money.
This could potentially give them a baseline or ideas of what to do with their own money if they agree. It would just on a different scale depending if they make more or less than I do. I try to be fully transparent about it all.
I think everyone has to grapple with online privacy and how much they will or won’t share. I honestly think with the latest FB debacle there might be a backlash coming against “being all out there” online. Who knows, we’ll see. Either way I’m of a little older generation and we generally feel less comfortable in sharing all aspects of our lives!
Haha yes I definitely hear you on that front. It’s crazy how much information on all of us is out there in the world, regardless of whether you choose to share your information via blogging, or even have a blog.
This is also one reason I haven’t told my parents that I have a blog, I don’t think they’d like the idea of me sharing my finances with everyone out there!
I would agree, but that’s because I find more pleasure in reading personal stories of money advice and situations, and why people did or didn’t do certain things. I don’t care as much about actual numbers, because it is THEIR lives and will never apply to me. I can’t appreciate the paychecks of someone who makes 150K+, or costs of 3K/mo daycare, but anyone can appreciate a story about biking to work, finding a way to reduce a recurrent monthly bill, or celebrating maxing out an IRA or 401K.
Totally agree there! Everyone’s situation is different, in terms of how much income they have, family situation, area they live in, etc. so directly comparing yourself with others is definitely not the way to interpret when bloggers share their monthly net worths.
It’s definitely more about what they do with their money and how they grow it that I find interesting. Some people I agree with and others I don’t, but I do like the personal stories that come along with them!