“Shark Tank” investor Kevin O'Leary has said the ideal age to be debt-free is 45, especially if you want to retire by age 60. Being debt-free — including paying off your mortgage — by your mid-40s puts you on the early path toward success, O'Leary argued.
Kevin O'Leary, an investor on “Shark Tank” and personal finance author, said in 2018 that the ideal age to be debt-free is 45. It's at this age, said O'Leary, that you enter the last half of your career and should therefore ramp up your retirement savings in order to ensure a comfortable life in your elderly years.
That's right, a debt-free lifestyle makes it easier to save! While it can be hard to become debt free immediately, just lowering your interest rates on credit cards, or auto loans can help you start saving. Those savings can go straight into your savings account, or help you pay down debt even faster.
Most debt belongs to 25- to 34-year-olds; 50- to 61-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding borrowers aged 62 years and older by 0.4%. 281,600 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $15,980 each for a total of $4.50 billion.
Generally speaking, a good debt-to-income ratio is anything less than or equal to 36%. Meanwhile, any ratio above 43% is considered too high.
How much money does the average American owe? According to a 2020 Experian study, the average American carries $92,727 in consumer debt. Consumer debt includes a variety of personal credit accounts, such as credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, personal loans, and student loans.
Is being debt-free the new rich? Yes, as long as you have money and assets, in addition to no debts. Living loan-free is a fantastic way to stay financially secure, and it is possible for anyone. While there are a couple of downsides to being debt-free, they are minimal.
They don't owe anything to the bank, so every dollar they earn stays with them to spend, save and give! Debt is the biggest obstacle to building wealth.
Our recommendation is to prioritize paying down significant debt while making small contributions to your savings. Once you've paid off your debt, you can then more aggressively build your savings by contributing the full amount you were previously paying each month toward debt.
From ages 25-34, the median wage is $60,000 and will increase to a median wage of $90,000 by ages 45-59. Compare that with a major in the health field, which has a median wage of $53,000 at ages 25-34 and grows to a median wage of $72,000 by ages 45-59.
By age 25, you should have saved at least 0.5X your annual expenses. The more the better. In other words, if you spend $50,000 a year, you should have about $25,000 in savings. If you spend $100,000 a year, you should have at least $50,000 in savings.
The general rule of thumb is that you should save 20% of your salary for retirement, emergencies, and long-term goals. By age 21, assuming you have worked full time earning the median salary for the equivalent of a year, you should have saved a little more than $6,000.
25—34 year olds = $78,396
Credit cards often have high interest rates that can cause debt to snowball. Younger millennials carry an average debt of $78,396, primarily due to credit card balances, according to Experian.
While the average age borrowers expect to pay off their mortgage is 59, the number of survey participants who have no idea when they will pay it off at all stood at 16%. In 2019, 9% of those asked didn't know and in 2020, 11% gave this answer.
On average, Americans carry $5,315 in credit card debt, but if your balance is much higher—say, $20,000 or beyond—you may be feeling hopeless. Paying off a high credit card balance can be a daunting task, but it's possible.
In the U.S. overall, it takes a net worth of $2.2 million to be considered “wealthy” by other Americans — up from $1.9 million last year, according to financial services company Charles Schwab's annual Modern Wealth Survey.
The first big reason is because wealthier people, in general, tend to have much higher mortgage debt than those with lower incomes. And since they are in a better position to get approved for mortgage loans, they are more likely to own a home.
There's a greater sense of peace, freedom and opportunity that comes with being debt free,” says Falcone. “Not owing anyone anything or being beholden to anyone offers debt-free individuals more options and control over every dollar they own.
And yet, over half of Americans surveyed (53%) say that debt reduction is a top priority—while nearly a quarter (23%) say they have no debt. And that percentage may rise.
Being debt free to start with means having minimal to no bad debts and average good debts. Being debt free doesn't mean you have no mortgage, bills, or car payment. It means you carry a manageable amount of debt, and are cognizant of your borrowing and DTI.
A Critical Number For Homebuyers
One way to decide how much of your income should go toward your mortgage is to use the 28/36 rule. According to this rule, your mortgage payment shouldn't be more than 28% of your monthly pre-tax income and 36% of your total debt. This is also known as the debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.
About 52% of Americans owe $2,500 or less on their credit cards. If you're looking at $5,000 or higher, you should really get motivated to knock out that debt quickly.
Compared to 2021 standards, respondents to the 2020 survey described the threshold for wealth as being a net worth of $2.6 million.