Retirement. The good life. The golden years. It’s the time of life that many dream about with great anticipation. It’s the culmination of your years of hard work and sacrifice.
But if you’re like the majority of Americans today, it may not be so golden or good.
Did you know that according to a 2016 study, over 60% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings?
For some of you, that will feel appalling.
For others, it sounds like reality.
So let’s talk to that majority of us who have hardly anything saved. Is it possible to save $1,000,000 for retirement still?
It is. Here’s how.
How to save $1,000,000
I, for one, hate articles like this that aren’t honest or up-front. So let me be both of those for you here.
Getting to $1,000,000 is going to appear impossible and it is truly very difficult to do. Not everyone will make it.
But just because something is very difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It is achievable, but you’re going to have to create a plan and get going right away!
There is no time to lose.
To get to this huge milestone, you’re going to have to have a plan, make some extra money, and we have to assume a 6% annual rate of return over the next 20 years.
Again, it’s absolutely possible but not guaranteed. There will be a lot of things that have to go right in order for you to achieve this goal.
But it’s doable and a 6% rate of return is not an outrageous expectation or goal to shoot for.
I’m going to write this from my current age. I am 40 years old and, for argument’s sake, we’ll say that I want to retire in 20 years at age 60.
According to The Millionaire Calculator, my wife and I would need to save $2,200 per month for the next 20 years in order to reach this goal. Assuming the same rate of return, we would need to save $1,500 per month in order to reach our goal of $1,000,000 by age 65.
What’s amazing about this (and we’ve all seen and heard these numbers before) is that if you were to encourage your kids or friends in their 20’s to start saving, they’d only need to put away around $415 per month to retire a millionaire.
Every decade that you and I delay just makes the mountain harder and steeper to climb. If you wait until your 30’s, you’ll need approximately $650 per month.
What happens, though, that keeps us from getting to this goal?
Am I right?
You get married and you don’t make a lot of money but you probably start to accumulate a lot of debt. So the meager budget that you do have goes to just keeping pace or (for too many of us in the U.S.) keeping up with the neighbors.
Before you know it, we are in our 30’s, 40’s, or 50’s and have very little to show for it. We panic and read articles like this one and hope that there’s a chance to make up for time lost.
But it’s going to take some extreme focus, discipline, and sacrifice.
This is one of the reasons that I am a big fan of having a home-based business of some kind. There are so many to choose from and I’m not trying to advocate one over the other. But it’s worth looking into and finding one that may be a good fit for you.
If that’s not an option or something that you’re willing to do, then you’ll need to consider looking into new jobs or occupations that may bump your income up and give you a greater shot at putting money away each month.
Either way, what are your options?
- Stay the course and depend on hope, luck, or your children having a big enough basement to let you sleep in when you retire and run out of money.
- Do the hard work of figuring out what you can do and doing it right away.
It’s possible to save $1,000,000 for retirement. But it’s impossible if you don’t get going. So don’t wait. Retirement’s coming and how much you enjoy it is up to you!