There was a popular game show a few years ago called “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”. Part of its success I believe lies in the question itself. Who among us has never dreamed of what it would be like to be a millionaire?
Maybe you dream of sitting on a white sandy beach in the Caribbean, sipping a cool drink and watching the waves roll in. Maybe you have a special cause that is dear to your heart and you dream of being able to quit your job and devote your full-time to pursing that cause or being able to give generously to it. Maybe it’s just the perceived safety and stability that you feel would come if you had that kind of money in the bank.
But I think most folks also would say the keyword in those sentences is “dream”. Unless you are a superstar athlete or a gifted entertainer or just downright lucky, being a millionaire is not really a possibility for the average person.
But is that true…
Here is the best secret to being a millionaire. Are you ready?
Faithful persistence over time.
It is actually possible for almost anyone living in our Western culture to retire someday with a million dollars. The key is to save consistently and faithfully over a period of many years. The big key is the sooner you start, the better.
Let’s say you have a newborn baby. What would it take for you to help that baby have a million dollars when he or she is ready to retire at age 65? If you started an investment for your child and he or she continued to faithfully invest each month of their adult life…
Just $13 a month at 10% would yield $1,016,877.08 when he/she is age 65!
OK. So lets say your parents weren’t so forward thinking. Same circumstances. Let’s say you started at 20 years old.
Starting at age 20 you would need to invest just $95 a month to have $1,004,133.49 at age 65.
The more you procrastinate though, the harder it becomes.
At age 30? You would need to invest $262 a month to be a millionaire.
At age 40, it is $748 per month.
At age 50 , it’s $2400 per month.
Obviously the real point here is the sooner you start, the better. I truly believe every teenager should not be allowed to graduate from high school without understanding these statistics. Youth provides an incredible advantage.
It’s too late for me
Great stats you say. Would be even better if you had told me this 30 years ago. I’m too old to get started now.
Certainly, if you are getting older it is much more difficult to save a million dollars. Might well be impossible. But I would say even if you are starting “too late”, you can still start. You might not save a million dollars, but you will save more by trying than you will by giving up!
There is an old proverb that says the best time to plant an oak tree is 20 years ago. The second best time to plant an oak tree is today. You can not change the past. But you can change your future.
Be a persistent millionaire
Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success. -Napoleon Hill
If you are still young or you have family members that are young take this message to heart.
We have all heard much about the ills of the social security system. The days of working 30 years for a company and retiring with a gold watch and a pension are almost gone.
Increasingly, if you want to retire with dignity it may be in your own hands. The good news if you are young is that you have plenty of time to make sure you provide for your own needs, and then any social security or pensions that you may receive someday will just be a bonus.
What is stopping you from saving today?
Photo credit: Enkhtuvshin’s 5Dmkll (Creative Commons)