MSE Poll: How much are you worth (or do you owe)?

in Money Saving Polls
28 replies 4.1K views
MSE_PetarMSE_Petar MSE Staff
202 Posts
Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Name Dropper
MSE Staff
Poll started 25 August 2020

While many are struggling as a result of the coronavirus crisis, others are saving and repaying debts much faster than before. So this week, we're looking to get a snapshot of the nation's finances. Take any unsecured debt (ie, EXCLUDING any mortgage/student loan) away from any savings you have and where do you end up?

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Replies

  • BobbinAlongBobbinAlong Forumite
    183 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    But do you include the value of your home (or value minus amount of mortgage) or is it just other money?
  • CassarJCassarJ Forumite
    16 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
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    I think having it as money isnt a true reflection of wealth just liquidity can you image having a million in the bank and getting less than a grand a year in savings interest - yeah like people do that! - I think it far more useful to have an asset poll and a savings poll and they will reveal very different results
  • edited 26 August 2020 at 8:24AM
    StoodlesStoodles Forumite
    799 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
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    edited 26 August 2020 at 8:24AM
    Individually or as a couple?
  • aintreemaidaintreemaid Forumite
    42 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts
    Forumite
    I took it to mean total assets so, although the value of my home makes me look quite comfortably off (no mortgage), my income is pants!
  • dano17439dano17439 Forumite
    366 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
    Me and my wife have NET assets of 600k. i don't feel that rich though!!!!
  • jayefjayef Forumite
    5 Posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
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    Sadly (as it would be interesting) I think this poll is probably meaningless as it wasn't made clear whether you should include the value of your house or not. Which obviously makes a huge difference (at least for us baby boomers). I didn't include house value but obviously some people did. Big omission in the description guys.
  • edited 26 August 2020 at 11:40AM
    hugheskevihugheskevi Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Car Insurance Carver!
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    edited 26 August 2020 at 11:40AM
    Key issues with polls such as this are:
    • Division of wealth between couples (what figure is wanted)
    • Housing wealth and mortgage debt - need to be very clear how to account for these (and including them introduces bias, due to reliance on self-estimated house value).
    • Pension wealth - is this included or excluded?
    • If pension wealth is included, how to you value Defined Benefit pension?
    • If pension wealth is included, is an adjustment made to reflect it being taxable when received? £1 received from a pension is worth less than £1 taken from an ISA (unless a non-taxpayer).
    • Physical wealth (eg cars) etc, how is this incorporated and valued.
    Pensions in particular complicate everything, but ignoring them is incorrect given that for many people they will be their largest asset. Simply assuming the issue away ("Pension is for retirement income") is a naive approach, not least as it overlooks all those using pensions strategically, eg, to pay off a mortgage or other debt using a tax-advantaged vehicle, and creates the perverse situation where if an individual puts say £6,000 into a pension, grossed up to £10,000 after higher rate income tax relief, they appear to be worse-off.
    The best source of information is the Wealth and Assets Survey, but even that has significant issues around reporting and interpretation of pension wealth.

  • 203846930203846930 Forumite
    4.7K Posts
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
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    Mortgage free so I added the value of my home to my net worth but I did not include my pension fund.
  • staggeredstaggered Forumite
    346 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
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    Previous surveys have always included the value of your home (minus any outstanding mortgage).
  • TheRedHerringTheRedHerring Forumite
    6 Posts
    First Anniversary First Post
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    MSE please ensure poll criteria are clear otherwise it makes a nonsense of the findings or worse the poll is manipulated to provide conclusions that are in-accurate and biased.
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