What if I told you, “You could become a millionaire by age 50?” Would you believe me? In this article, I explain how it’s possible – let’s take a look.
Age is obviously relative – 50 could be soon, or it could be a long way off (depending on how old you are currently).
But that’s not really the point. The point is this – is it even possible for the average person to become a millionaire, anyway? I say, “It is!” And here’s why.
A simple retirement calculator will help put this into perspective – let’s call it the “millionaire calculator.”
(There are other calculators available, but I like using this one).
What I like about this particular calculator is that it will show you the exact year you become a millionaire (the year you have at least one million dollars saved).
Now, if you still have debt by the time you reach the million dollar mark, obviously that is going to reduce your net worth by that amount, but there’s no need to get that technical yet (hopefully, you’ll be debt free, anyway).
The calculator is super easy to use and super insightful. Simply plug your numbers in to see where you stand.
Not only will the calculator tell you when you hit the million dollar mark, it will also tell you the total amount you will have after so many years of saving (which is really the point).
Become a millionaire in 15 years
At the time of writing this, I will have turned 35 in a few days. That means in 15 years, I will be 50 years old.
Will I be a millionaire in 15 years?
I believe I will – I’m on track to do that.
It might sound crazy, but the numbers don’t lie (if making reasonable assumptions) – here me out.
Right now I have $100k saved (invested) for retirement (I’ve been saving since I was 21 years old).
If you were to use the calculator above, you would see why I think it’s possible to be a millionaire in 15 years. Actually, let’s just do the math.
Without telling you exactly what I make a year, I will be contributing about $700 a month towards retirement.
And if I assume a 12% return (which is what the S&P 500 has done historically), I will have over 7 million dollars by the time I retire and will have become a millionaire around age 50.
Take a look at the numbers:
Not too shabby!
Would you like to check your numbers? You can do so here.
How much to save to become a millionaire?
You might be asking yourself how much you need to save in order to become a millionaire?
Well, that’s a fair question.
Maybe you think it’s impossible to save $700 a month like I am.
That’s a fair too.
If you’re like most people, you’d be right, but I suggest something different: don’t be like most people!
Most financial experts will tell you to save 15 percent of your income for retirement, but most people can’t do that for the following reasons:
People live beyond their means
Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck. But let me say this: most Americans are broke.
You can make $300k a year, but if you spend $300k a year, you’re still broke!
Even worse – if you spend more than $300k a year, you’re bankrupt!
In order to build real wealth, you have to live below your means; you have to live on less than you make.
Doing so will cause you to free up income so you can save and invest over long periods of time – that way you have millions come retirement (like the calculator indicates).
Now, maybe you’re thinking that $700 a month is not possible given your situation – I get that! So why not do as much as you can?
Why not work towards fixing your situation by living below your means?
You should strive to save 15 percent of your income for retirement. Maybe that’s less than $700 a month; maybe it’s more. Whatever the case, strive for 15 percent.
If you are unable to do 15 percent because your money is all tied up in debt payments, car payments, or other bills – I would start by eliminating those bills as quick as possible.
Probably the most common reason why people are unable to save and invest like they should is because of debt.
People have debt
One of the most outspoken adversaries of debt is Dave Ramsey (I’m a pretty big fan, by the way).
In his book, The Total Money Makeover, Ramsey lays out his philosophy for building wealth – it comes down to getting out of debt and staying out of debt.
The reason this is important is because debt ties up your most powerful wealth building tool: your income.
When you have no debt, you actually have real money. That’s what you need in order to save, invest, and build wealth.
People want instant gratification
We live in a society where we get what we want, when we want. The days of saving money to pay for things is so foreign that almost nobody does it anymore.
The credit industry has not helped with that, either, but it’s not entirely their fault – people need to take personal responsibility for their actions.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where people want to satisfy their wants instantly. If they don’t have the money for it, no problem! Just put it on a credit card and pay for it later. But this is a recipe for disaster.
If you want to win with money, you have to kill the desire of instant gratification. If not, your finances will control you, and you will never be able to save and invest for retirement.
Retire a millionaire
It is entirely possible to retire a millionaire, especially if you don’t tie up all your income in monthly payments (that’s what most people do, so don’t be like most people)!
Be different . . . be weird.
In fact, most people who are millionaires, you wouldn’t even expect to be millionaires because they live like they’re broke. But that’s how they managed to invest their money and build wealth.
There’s a book that illustrates this point nicely called, The Millionaire Next Door. I highly recommend it.
The book talks about how the guy next door – who drives a modest used car, drinks cheap wine, and dresses casually – might just be a millionaire!
That’s how most millionaires have built their wealth. They didn’t inherit it. They didn’t win the lottery. They lived on less than they made and invested as much as they could. As a result, they retired with millions.
It’s entirely possible to become a millionaire by 50. In fact, that’s what I intend to do.
But you have to take control of your finances. You have to stop using debt. And you have to stop wasting your money on things simply because you want them.
You have to be intentional with your finances. You have to live on less than you make, avoid debt, and invest as much as you can (hopefully, that’s close to 15 percent of your income).
When you do that over a long period of time, becoming a millionaire is well within your reach (even if your income is less than average).