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Meh at hitting a million
Old 07-07-2016, 08:33 PM   #1
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Meh at hitting a million

So I was on a walk the other night and one of the things I do is calculate account balances and sum up the ol' net worth, calculate when it will double between growth and contributions, etc. It probably makes me a freak but it's meditative in a way.

Anyhow I realized I had forgotten about some old pensions and quickly figured out their cash value and realized we had hit a million NW. Now that's combined and including the ~$200k in equity in our primary residence, which I know many don't count, but it was the first really big milestone I had set for ourselves. And you know what? It wasn't the cork-popping, celebratory moment I had dreamed of so long ago. It was like Voyager leaving the solar system, I knew I'd cross the line back and forth for a while, and I realized a million bucks wasn't as much as it used to be. Hopefully FIRE will be more exciting. Anyone else feel that "millionaire next door" moment was anti-climactic?

At least my wife is still only 40 (I turn 42 next month) so she can say, "million by 40".
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:36 PM   #2
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When I hit my first million at about the same age, I realized how fortunate I was.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:38 PM   #3
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Not once, it is something to celebrate for sure. Seven figures, 2 commas! Pop a cork!

And then it went away in the 07-09 crash. But then it came back with vigor -

Have fun!
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:47 PM   #4
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With inflation since "The Millionaire Next Door" was written, it's more like 1.5 million now. Considering that and our current near-zero interest rates $1M NW just doesn't seem to mean much anymore. But it is still a major milestone so good for you. The first million is the hardest!


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Old 07-07-2016, 09:42 PM   #5
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When you consider the NW of the vast, vast majority of Americans, yeah, it's something to celebrate, especially before 40, IMO. You don't have to feel like you've arrived nor are you finished necessarily, but there are tens of millions of Americans who would trade places with you in a heartbeat, so I say celebrate it!

DW and I did a ceremonial "yay" in the spirit of Monty Python when we crossed $1M NW (sans pension values). I think we'll at least pop a bottle when we cross $1M invested assets.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:28 PM   #6
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You and Mrs L are raising three little sweethearts and you still cracked the seven figures net worth by 42? You are wealthy beyond measure, Laurence! Congratulations!
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:50 PM   #7
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You and Mrs L are raising three little sweethearts and you still cracked the seven figures net worth by 42? You are wealthy beyond measure, Laurence! Congratulations!

Thanks - and we are grateful! Don't get me wrong, it just didn't feel like I thought it would! On the plus side, that first million does seem like the hardest, with contributions I think we'll hit 2 in five years, after taking almost 20 to hit the first. Compounding for the win! Maybe that's when we'll light the cigar with a (fake) hundred dollar bill.
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:11 AM   #8
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Congrats. It's all about hitting achievements. Now focus on #2!
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Old 07-08-2016, 03:58 AM   #9
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Rest assured, a million by 40, or 42, is quite an achievement (unless one's parents gave one $2 million to start out with, LOL)

Just a thought: Do you tend to be critical of yourself in other ways? Sometimes, the personality that enables people to achieve milestones that most people never reach, is a self-critical one. "I'm never quite good enough." "It's never quite as good as I wanted/expected." "I only got a 95. Why couldn't I get a 99?"

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Old 07-08-2016, 04:52 AM   #10
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Congrats! You are winning the game.
All hail the power of compounding!

My experience was similar. I had just gotten home from work and was adding up the balances. Sure enough the second comma made an appearance. I just looked at the numbers as thought "huh. I'm officially a millionaire".
At $900,000 it was still "real money". At $950,000 it started to get a little abstract/surreal.
Now, it just seems like numbers.

Stay the course and 2M will be here before you know it.

-GIF


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Old 07-08-2016, 05:25 AM   #11
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Congrats. It's all about hitting achievements. Now focus on #2!
Yes, now the fun begins. In my case the first million took about 40 years. The second happened about 6+ years later and the third, about four years after that. Working on the 4th now.
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Old 07-08-2016, 06:34 AM   #12
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I will never know what it's like to reach the million $ mark because I won't work long enough to reach it. I keep my expenses low so I don't need that much money to retire. I've always lived on less than $20K/yr and don't mind living on that for the rest of my life if it means I don't have to work as long. Nothing wrong with working longer to have more to spend, it's just not what I want.
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Old 07-08-2016, 07:44 AM   #13
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congrats!
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:05 AM   #14
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Honestly do not remember when.
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:29 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by laurence View Post
Anyhow I realized I had forgotten about some old pensions and quickly figured out their cash value and realized we had hit a million NW. Now that's combined and including the ~$200k in equity in our primary residence, which I know many don't count, but it was the first really big milestone I had set for ourselves.
Was this a 'net present value' sort of pension calculation?
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:39 AM   #16
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We're on track to become members of the two-comma club at the end of this month when DH receives his bonus, and I know part of my brain is going to say, "Yep. That's a number." No fireworks, no balloons falling from the ceiling.

However, just because your brain didn't reflexively jump around like an idiot to celebrate doesn't mean you shouldn't take a step back, look at the big picture, and congratulate yourselves on the achievement. Acknowledge your good fortune and hard work. Take a few minutes with your wife, pop the cork on a bottle of your favorite beverage, and congratulate yourselves. Daydream about the future a little, whatever makes you feel good.

I think it's valuable to pause and reflect on the good things. We spend an awful lot of time pressuring ourselves, it's good to give ourselves kudos as well.
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:41 AM   #17
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I also hit $1M at 40, counting just my investment portfolio. It is definitely a notable benchmark, but these days may not be a place to rest your laurels.
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:46 AM   #18
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Well, you've got to have your 1st $M before you get your 2nd, and so on. Congrats!

As far as a milestone, I remember crossing it a few times before it could be considered being safely in the rearview mirror (not really), just as any portfolio milestone. Of course if one still works and keeps pumping air in while the balloon is leaking, then the chance of keeping it inflated is better (of course I am not talking about a balloon that has busted to shreds with the like of dotcoms - nothing left to hold air). However, the higher you go, the more the market fluctuations swamp out your effort to pump, and it's tougher and tougher. Then, you say WTH, and give up thinking about it.

Oh well, it's still an occasion to celebrate. Sorry for the gloomy talk. At least get some nice steaks and a good bottle of wine for the weekend. One has got to use any chance to enjoy life, because it is shorter than he may realize.
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:53 AM   #19
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Congratulations, Laurence!
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:26 AM   #20
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It's been quite a while since a million dollars was worth a million dollars in the same way it used to be. This show below would probably have to be a at least "The 10 millionaire today".

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