Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
Have you ever seen that show, “Who wants to be a millionaire”? Of course you have, and it’s interesting. Contestants answer questions of increasing difficulty with increasing levels of money attached to them, until the final question has a million dollar value. If they get it right, they win a million dollars.
Along the way, they have life-lines they can use if they don’t know the answers to any other questions. For instance: they could phone a friend, ask the audience, or narrow the choices from four to two.
If they get a question wrong, they drop back to a lower money level and leave with much less than a million dollars.
Do you ever feel that life is like a gameshow? And that some people just have all the luck?
A million dollars seems like the magic number for retirement. That if you get there, everything will be alright. Maybe it will and maybe it won’t. And maybe it’s because it’s seven digits instead of six. Whatever the reason, I do think anyone can get there.
In this post, I’m going to show you how anyone can become a millionaire! Just be warned: It’s not a get-rich-quick method, nor is it a new thing. You probably already know how to do it, and you just need a little reminder.
Let’s get started.
Start by getting a job, and get your net worth to zero. This means if you have debt that drags your net worth down below zero, you need to pay it off ASAP. I’m talking about student loans especially. Most other debts have assets or property attached to them that you could sell to eliminate the liability.
Once you’ve established your net worth of zero, and you’re consistently pulling in a paycheck, you are well on your way to becoming a millionaire.
I know that just getting to the point of zero net worth, and having control of your budget and income is a huge deal. And it’s ok if you’re not there yet. Just keep going, and don’t give up.
So the big secret?
Save and invest money! That’s it! The biggest factor in someone becoming a millionaire is simply saving money. You’ll never get there if you don’t save. And not just for a few months here or there, or whenever you have some extra.
The most consistent and guaranteed way of reaching millionaire status is to save money over many years. If you can do this consistently, you will become a millionaire.
There was a US Trust study done that asked the wealthy what caused them to become rich. The top three answers were centered around saving/investing over time, hard work, and family upbringing/support. Most of the respondents (77%) earned their wealth over time!!
So how much do you really need to save per month?
As it turns out – not as much as you might think. You really only need time – maybe lots of time.
What is interesting to me is not necessarily the amount per month that you have to save, but the time it takes to get there.
Obviously, the amount does matter. And the more you save, the faster you’ll reach that magic number. But even if you save $2500 per month, it still takes almost 20 years. Years!!
And if you only set aside $500 per month it’ll take 37 years or so – about the length of normal working career. But you have to start now.
And you have to save consistently over a long period of time. And you have to have patience. I think that’s the hardest part. We are people who want things now. We don’t like to wait.
If you can’t learn to control yourself however, you’ll fall into the trap of all the get-rich-quick schemes out there.
So what’s the best way to set this money aside?
The easiest way to save money consistently, is to contribute to a retirement account like a 401k or 403b or similar. Start with your employer, and contribute to whatever plan is open to you. If your employer matches any of your contributions, that is even better!!
Usually these retirement plans use pre-tax contributions. All this means is that you don’t pay taxes on the money you save. When you contribute to a pre-tax retirement account through your employer, you are not only saving money for later, but you are also limiting your tax liability.
An added benefit is that because you never even see this money, you will become accustomed to living without it. Making your savings almost unnoticeable and automatic. This is by far the best way to save.
Some people call this the “pay yourself first” method. You can call it whatever you want, just as long as you actually do it!!
Once You Become a Millionaire, Then what?
Well, the short answer is: I don’t really know. Since I’m not there yet. But we are saving, paying down debt, and working. We’ll get there . . . eventually. It just takes time.
But to answer your question, I think that your life won’t change much. You’ll keep doing what you’ve been doing. Saving, investing, working, and just living. Your life won’t dramatically change just because you reached that milestone.
Maybe you can retire, or maybe you could call yourself financially independent.
Whatever the case, once you get there, you’ll be able to call yourself, ***in your best Regis Philbin voice***, a Millionaire!!
Where are you in the journey to becoming a millionaire? Are you saving and investing consistently?
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