How To Become A Millionaire By 65

That’s right, follow the simple plan outlined by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and you will be a millionaire by the age of 65 starting with $0 right now… guaranteed or your money back!

You’re 25 Now

Save $286 a month and you’ll be a millionaire by 65. Contribute to your 401k to get your company match, put 100% into stocks, pay down high interest debt like credit cards, and set up an emergency fund equal to six to twelve months of your expenses.

You’re 35 Now

Save $671 a month, or $304 if you already have $50k banked. Look to save 15% of your salary including your employer match in a 401(k), shift your assets to 90% stocks and 10% bonds, then start contributing to a 529 plan if you have kids (or plan to have kids).

You’re 45 Now

If you’re starting some scratch, you need to put away $1,698 a month. If you started with $50k then it’s only $1,298 a month. Happen to have $100k lying around? Then you only need $861 a month to reach a million. At this point you should be 20% bonds, 80% stocks and trying to maximize your 401(k) contributions. Remember retirement and don’t put your children’s college costs ahead of it.

You’re 55 Now

Ten years until your 65, so you’ll need to save $5,466 per month to reach a million. If you have $100k saved away, you’re down to $4,253 a month. Gotten up to $200k? Good job, that’ll be $3,040 a month. At this point you should be taking advantage of the $5,000 catch-up contribution bonus to your 401(k), shifting your allocation to 70% stocks and 30% bonds, and thinking about working a little longer if you’re short.

There you go! The path to millionaire status is clear, courtesy of Kiplingers.






6 responses to “How To Become A Millionaire By 65”

  1. I kind of scoffed at this article when I read it. (It had nice glossy pictures of people at various stages in life.) Reason: the numbers given will get you to $1 million in nominal dollars when you’re 65.

    To get to the equivalent of $1 million in today’s purchasing powers, your savings plan will need to be slightly different.

    You’re 25 Now

    Save $934 a month and you?ll be a millionaire by 65.

    You?re 35 Now
    Save $1,629 a month, or $1,262 if you already have $50k banked.

    You?re 45 Now
    If you?re starting some scratch, you need to put away $3,066 a month. If you started with $50k then it?s only $2,648 a month. Happen to have $100k lying around? Then you only need $2,230 a month to reach a million.

    You?re 55 Now
    Ten years until your 65, so you?ll need to save $7,346 per month to reach a million. If you have $100k saved away, you?re down to $6,133 a month. Gotten up to $200k? Good job, that?ll be $4,919 a month.

    If your goal is to have $1 million in purchasing power at 65, then just following Kiplinger’s advice won’t get you there. I’d ask for my money back; buy a spreadsheet program, teach yourself some time-value-of-money math, and you’d be better off than following Kiplinger.

    (I actually love Kiplinger for the most part, but I hate it when magazines give advice on getting to $1 million by age 65, since that won’t be enough for most people to retire comfortably due to inflation.)

  2. Excellent post Lily! I’m 24 and I’m not aiming for a million dollars at age 65. I want to live comfortably! I’ll need about 5 million with inflation factoring in.

  3. I’m 23. 🙂 With any luck, your income will keep pace with inflation and it will be easier to save the inflation-adjusted amounts.

  4. retirehappy

    Lily, you’re right, that is nominal and sometimes people just need something to spur them to action you know? For those of us who are more responsible, we obviously would like to know $1M in PP but the general public would be scared of the “real” larger numbers. $934 is scarier than $286!

    (incidentally I’m 27, so we’re all in the same ballpark!)

  5. Mark

    I think both of you have great points and are doing very well. Alot of people are age dont think of Saving for Retirement. I was 18 when I first started I still lived at home and put 15% in my 401k. I made the mistake and cashed out 2 years later when I left my job. So I started a new 401k when I was 23 Saved for 3 years at 8 to 10% and cashed out again when I left. Im now 29 years old I currently put 11% with a 4% match into my 401k. I could have had 30 to 40 thousand in a Ira if I would have been smart enough to roll it over into a IRA. Any how Im Making 50,000.00 per year W/ Overtime. My plan is to retire rich. So my advice is to keep up the great work. Keep that going and if you leave your current employer roll it over.

  6. WB

    You know…when you read these statements, there are a couple of things that jump out as givens…save, invest, spend less, etc. I agree to all of these. But what is not given is diversification. As we all know, the value of the dollar is not consistent with the pace at which savings will allow you to turn a base of savings into a million dollars. Even at a million dollars, if you have expenses at 65, then a million is really not that much. Diversify into real estate, precious metals, ETFs, even yourself…this is defined below…

    I would recommend the following suggestions to retiring…

    1. Don’t retire…when you reach the age of 65, the idea of retiring should not even enter into the minds of those who will live well into their 80s or even 90s. I would suggest that you find a good job at whatever age, maximize retirement input, but also maximize educational and training opportunities that will allow a transition from the hectic current working lifestyle to a more relaxed one. The goal should always be transition, with the opportunity to work because you want to, not because you are required to. ONE final note…those who have hobbies…these make great businesses. For those who don’t have hobbies, get one…Most millionares started doing the thing that they loved and worked in tandem with the requirements of a regular savings and goal plan.

    ***Do what you love as a hobby and turn it into an income generator***

    2. Plan the family. This is a hard thing, but most of us don’t realize that when we are young, children are a financial blessing and a financial drain at the same time. In your 20s, education, expenses and earning potential are only coupled with opportunity. It’s hard to do when you are having a family at the same time. Also, be mindful of who you marry because this is a committed work in progress that involves a person who you could be financially supporting or them supporting you for the long haul. Divorce is expensive and child support is a drain. I advocate marriage and children, but be mindful that life is an investment.

    3. Plan…for everything…Expect…nothing…Work…like heck…Whether it is on your family, education, career, even spiritual life, the harder you work, the greater the reward. There is a saying that success is 5% talent and 95% work. Don’t expect that just because you land that great job today, that layoffs don’t happen tomorrow. Life is about the journey, not just the destination. If you spend your entire life stressing retirement at 65, it really won’t matter if you are gone at 45. Like they say, expect the best, plan for the worst and work for everything.

    I know for all the numbers people, this may seem to be pie in the sky, but we need to address “all” areas of growth…

    For more…contact me at