Ups and downs folks. A couple bad choices can totally kill your plans. Building up that bank account is good insurance, and falling off the wagon is never permanent, but you are always a car crash, cancer diagnosis, or natural disaster away from ruin. Man, am I ever a killjoy.
At 20 - NW around $7,000 - Bought first house, worked for $11/hr in a chrome plate plant. Thought I had the world by the short & hairies.
At 25 - NW exactly $2500 - Newly divorced, sold house & came away with $2500. No assets, working in a machine shop for $15/hr, suddenly raising a kid alone.
At 30 - NW around $25000 - Attending Engineering program in College, had a micro-house. Life is Good! Debt beginning to be a factor.
At 35 - NW around -$250,000 - Remarried, bought a 'Real house' and got a 'Career' after graduation. Joined yacht club, bought a small boat, having tonnes of fun, trips abroad, Yee Haaa!! Also student loans. Salary up to $55,000 Thought I was on top of the world when I was actually in a sinking ship.
At 40 - NW about the same. Discovered MMM, making changes. Salary growth remarkable. Savings increasing. Maybe too late for FIRE, but I'm trying for a 10 yr schedule.