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"Your First Million is the Toughest" How long did it take you?
Old 07-18-2007, 04:29 PM   #1
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"Your First Million is the Toughest" How long did it take you?

Motley Fool recently did an article titled "Your First Million Is the Toughest." Your First Million Is the Toughest
It talks about how long it takes to accumulate your first million, and then the second, and third, using the criteria of monthly savings and rates of return.

Recently there was a thread asking people if they had recently surpassed that major milestone. My question is; from the time you seriously started to save for retirement, how long did it take you to accumulate your first seven figures? I am in striking distance, but I have been working at it for 25 years. No windfalls, no stock options, just one paycheck at a time.

Milkman
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:36 PM   #2
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I'm not quite there yet:

started in 1989, 12.5k in student loan debt. Like you, plugging away paycheck per paycheck, no options or inheritances.

Not quite 90% of the way there, but I do feel like I'm within striking distance. I hope the second one comes much faster !

- John
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:38 PM   #3
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From my first real job, it took me (& DW) 14 years to save up 1M in 1998 dollars.
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:39 PM   #4
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Since I seriously started saving: 4 years.

Started and sold a business in that time. Goes to show that sometimes its not necessarily the compounding that does it, although I'm counting on that to get me through the next 50 or so years.
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:19 PM   #5
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Everyone is different, and (as I've said before) there isn't really much point in comparisons.

Indeed, if you see that others have accumulated $1 million much quicker than you, it may cause you to become impatient and perhaps start modifying your savings and investment strategy: which is counterproductive, more often than not.
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:24 PM   #6
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Indeed, if you see that others have accumulated $1 million much quicker than you, it may cause you to become impatient and perhaps start modifying your savings and investment strategy: which is counterproductive, more often than not.
Or it could cause you to get off your butt and make some money.
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25 years
Old 07-18-2007, 05:31 PM   #7
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25 years

It was
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:33 PM   #8
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Milkman, same here. I started seriously about 25 years ago and hit $1M a couple of months ago. Virtually all of it in a 403b. Fortunately participation was mandatory at age 30, or likely I would not be where I am.

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Old 07-18-2007, 05:39 PM   #9
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Or it could cause you to get off your butt and make some money.
I suspect that the great majority of people active on this forum are already quite motivated.
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:40 PM   #10
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Hit the $1 million in savings at 56 years old - does not include house (CA) that would have been much earlier.
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:56 PM   #11
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We reached $1M last year (2006), it took us about 10 years. I expect/hope to reach 2M in the year 2010, due to some serious saving, and hopefully some solid growth. Compounding is really an amazing thing...

Charlotte
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:34 PM   #12
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20 years, not including home/investment properties.

Spending it....is still kinda strange -- after all the years of "hoarding".
But, I feel that if I don't spend it...someone else will! So a spending I am.


Still kinda strange tho.......
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:09 PM   #13
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It took me 10 years to hit the million mark, excluding home, business and property. I started in 1995. The next million is happening fast. It might take me only 3 years for that.
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:03 PM   #14
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Started minimally saving 4 years ago. Started saving in earnest three months ago.... Bankrate: Calculator: How long until you're a millionaire? says that it'll take us another 6-8 years to get there if we get our savings where I want it (70% of our salary)

edit: Excluding a townhouse that isn't appreciating at all.
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:41 PM   #15
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I set a target sum I thought I could achieve when I seriously started to accumulate, I just figured that if I should start saving at least 11%/year in my 401(k) and that it should increase by 11% year and my salary should increase by 7%/year. That gave me a target figure in the 401(k) of $500K and a pension of $50k/year at RE age of 55.

I still update that workbook every quarter. It is extremely close after 13 years. salary is 1.1% below target and 401(k) is $325k against $311K target. However we have accumulated a lot more outside of my 401(k).

1/1/94 net worth was $156K of which house equity was $60K.

Hit a net worth of $1M right on 1/1/06 (12 years to accumulate $850K) No house these days, we rent. No windfalls, just steady as she goes and being fortunate in life with a great family and few set backs.

Net worth now is $1.3M
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:54 PM   #16
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Took 16 years for my work and potential to be recognized, saving was slow and methodical until then. Then awarded new challenges at work, and the windfalls that came with them helped us reach the mark in about 3 years, second came in two, third looks like it will be about a year, but that will be impacted by both company results (and resulting windfalls) as well as whether or not the stock market does well. Built a large house in the meantime as well, without a mortgage. We have been fortunate, but I know what it is like accumulating paycheck by paycheck. We are also pretty frugal...it would not have happened this fast if we tried to keep up with the Jones's...
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:36 PM   #17
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good luck to those who is expecting to double their money in 4 years. This is an annualized return of 18%.
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:40 PM   #18
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good luck to those who is expecting to double their money in 4 years. This is an annualized return of 18%.
Totally possible if it includes new money as well as investment income.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:14 PM   #19
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Totally possible if it includes new money as well as investment income.
Agreed. New money will definitely help to go from $1 mil to $2 mil in 4 years.

new $ per year @return rate required
0 @ 18%
$50,000 @15%
$100,000 @10%
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:17 PM   #20
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15 years to the first $m
5 years to the third (estimated)
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