How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

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edge
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by edge » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:57 pm

livesoft wrote:I didn't get a real job until I was 28 years old. I decided that I wanted to reach a number by age 40, but that number was not a million. I was married and we basically just saved/invested the entire salary of the higher paid spouse while paying living expenses and taxes with the lower paid spouse's salary. As for reaching a million, that happened about 15 years after starting the plan.

We were living near NYC at the time, so the cost of living was higher back then for us than it is now. In particular, rent was the most I have ever paid in the past 28 years and so were state income taxes.

So some takeaway lessons:

1. You don't have to earn 6-figure salaries.
2. You don't have to start before age 28.
3. You don't have to live in a low cost of living place.
4. You don't have to be childless.

Hmm ya, but you might have to have invested through the 90s?

Anyway, we reached our number through very large income and a bit more discipline than my peers.

Oilburner
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Oilburner » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:24 pm

steve roy wrote:I think it's simple and ... fairly boring.

1) Pick an asset allocation -- 60% stocks/40% bonds, or anything else within the parameters of 70/30 (bonds or stocks, your choice.)

2) Put 10% of your earnings into investment/tax advantaged accounts every week. Put in more if you can afford it.

3) Don't second-guess yourself and change allocations when the going gets bumpy. Stay the course.

4) Get emotionally distant from the process. If you start getting elated when holdings shoot up, or despair when they plunge, you'll take some wrong-headed actions and your problems will multiply. If you start chasing returns, you will live to regret it.

5) Use index funds and strive to get your costs down to 10 basis points. Or less.

6) Be light-hearted about the whole thing. You're working toward a comfortable, low-stress retirement. But remember than when you die, you'll die broke. (This realization helps to keep me on an even keel.)
That's exactly what my wife and I've been doing for the past ten years and we are about 3/4 the way there. Before that it was actively managed funds and at 3% of our income each year for the 20 years before that. You don't build anything up fast doing that.

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tipswatcher
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by tipswatcher » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:56 pm

I think the advice so far has been EXCELLENT, a lot of it spot on:

1) live below your means
2) start saving 20% of your salary in tax-advantaged accounts, as early as possible
3) then add another 10% to 20% in taxable accounts
4) everything in vanilla, low-cost indexed accounts
5) buy Timex watches instead of Rolexes (they keep better time and actually are more attractive)
6) if you buy a BMW, buy a used one about 8 years old, or just get a VW
7) bring your lunch to work
8) no credit card debt, ever
9) then no debt, period
10) keep your investments sensible, conservative
11) once you reach 10 ... travel, enjoy life, and don't worry, because you don't need to worry.
TIPS: Perfect investment for imperfect times?

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HomerJ
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by HomerJ » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:02 pm

edge wrote:Hmm ya, but you might have to have invested through the 90s?
My wife and I hit our peak earning years right around 2007-2008... We saved a ton in 2008 and 2009 and 2010. Almost all of which has doubled. The money we saved in 2011 and 2012 hasn't done too bad either :)

But yeah, I'd love to see my money grow 4x like it did in the 90s. I'm only 44, so I figure I'll see at least one more big bull someday... maybe it's already started, but if we crash again or go sideways for a while, that's all right... Maybe it will start when I hit 55, and I can start my retirement at the beginning of a 15-year bull market. :)

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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by avalpert » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:08 pm

tipswatcher wrote: 9) then no debt, period
Eh, debt isn't evil. Everything in moderation, a reasonable mortgage, a small amount of student loans, a small business loan - there are lots of situation where debt can be both appropriate and valuable.

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tipswatcher
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by tipswatcher » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:23 pm

Eh, debt isn't evil. Everything in moderation, a reasonable mortgage, a small amount of student loans, a small business loan
Note that I said, no. 9, near the end of the journey. Early on, a mortgage is a necessity. If you are a small-business owner, certainly. But that's about it.

Later on ... Debt in retirement makes no sense, go ahead, make an argument.

I am not a fan of debt, never have been and never will be.
TIPS: Perfect investment for imperfect times?

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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by avalpert » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:31 am

tipswatcher wrote:
Eh, debt isn't evil. Everything in moderation, a reasonable mortgage, a small amount of student loans, a small business loan
Note that I said, no. 9, near the end of the journey. Early on, a mortgage is a necessity. If you are a small-business owner, certainly. But that's about it.

Later on ... Debt in retirement makes no sense, go ahead, make an argument.

I am not a fan of debt, never have been and never will be.
Terminal illness with a defined time to live and no heirs - I see no downside to taking on all the debt they will give you.

MnD
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by MnD » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:41 am

A positive two-digit savings rate for 22 years starting around age 24 - nothing spectacular but more than most and always kept it above 10% not including employer match). When the kids were little just barely above 10%.

Always had a significant percentage in stocks.

Investment strategies were all over the map but they always included a nice chunk of index funds, and the non-index approaches were strongly tilted to value or contrarian plays (like buying beaten down oil field service stocks when crude was under $20). Sometimes that worked out and sometimes not, but I didn't get the huge losses like people do when they are chasing hot funds, sectors and stocks. I do not regret the portion of investing that was/is active style although it has been trending to a smaller percentage for many years now.

Moved cross-county twice purely for for career financial reasons.

Regrets - Should have ramped up by 401-K contributions to the IRS max sooner than we did. Should have taken out a 15-year mortgage and stuck to that payment term schedule whenever we re-fied.

Things that worked out conveniently but weren't financial decisions - got married right out of college but didn't have kids for 7 years. That gave us seven years of two incomes, we saved a lot, bought reliable cars, a house and durable household items etc. while a lot of our friends were still in party mode, or had kids right away so had big expense increases and in some cases one job loss right off the bat.
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by sesq » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:24 pm

I agree with the advice about marrying a frugal spouse, but be pretty sure you won't divorce said spouse.

I am on track to cross the threshold next year at age 42 (unless the market sells off 10%+, in which a bit later). Its been mostly about saving, having marketable skills and being willing to capitalize on opportunities. In my case that has been driven by being willing to move (5 times in 17 working years so far) and see when the next rung on the ladder is out there.

I am not so frugal that I am not enjoying life. The last few years I have gotten to the point in my career where the incentive comp is pretty potent. Mortgages and college funds are on the chopping block with each vesting date. I think we are still 4 years away from being able to choose to pursue a frugal "your money or your life" lifestyle. Ten years until we reach FI w/o major lifestyle sacrifices.

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market timer
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by market timer » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:21 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Nathan Drake wrote:What kind of jobs do you have that allows you to save so much money so early?
I'm curious about this too... What skills do you have that someone is willing to pay you such large sums of money with very little experience?
Nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills...

I'm in finance. The hardest part is probably to get the right educational credentials. Even then, many people decide they'd rather not work the hours required and burn out after a few years. For me, I'm not well-off, didn't come from a privileged background, so I'm more than happy to work long hours to buy my freedom.

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zaboomafoozarg
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by zaboomafoozarg » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:51 pm

market timer wrote:Nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills...
Aren't you pretty good at drawing like animals and warriors and stuff? :D

I've still got a ways to go until I hit 7 digits. Optimistically, I'm looking at 10 years from now.

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Goldfinger
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Goldfinger » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:03 pm

I'm 48 and spousal unit/DW is 46. Hit it a couple of years ago. Our formula:

Started saving right out of school (piggy bank $$, savings bonds, 401(k), Roth IRAs, but didn't have much in taxable for a few years.
Kept expenses low.
VERY supportive and frugal spouse.
Managed to tuck away several hundred grand prior to the runaway bull market of 95-99.
Got rid of many (but not all) tech holdings prior to dot-com meltdown - this was pure luck.
Always paid ourselves first.
Banked nearly all raises.
Stayed motivated even through 2000-02 and 2008-09.

We had a fairly heavy equity portfolio (90%) until around 2006 prior to dialing our AA back to AIB (now we're 53/47).

Even with this, we have 4 children (age range 14-4) and a McMansion. I've got 11 years until my projected retirement age of 59. Wife probably won't retire for several years beyond that. Other than a healthy mortgage payment, we spend prodigious amounts of $$ on my 11 year old son (Elite-level - private lessons from 2 baseball coaches, 1 ex-MLB). I think we've struck a good balance between saving and spending.

--Goldfinger
"At cocktail parties lovely ladies would corner me and ask my opinion of the market, but alas, when they learned I was a bond man, they would quietly drift away." -- Sidney Homer/Salomon Bros

davidsorensen32
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by davidsorensen32 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:14 pm

Seems like every Tom Dick and Harry can do it these days from all sorts of no-name small cities around the country:

http://money.cnn.com/gallery/pf/2013/07 ... ?iid=HP_LN

The question is: what did you do for $5M or when did you hit that level? That's the real challenge:

http://www.businessinsider.com/apparent ... ion-2012-7

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Toons
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Toons » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:17 pm

tipswatcher wrote:
Eh, debt isn't evil. Everything in moderation, a reasonable mortgage, a small amount of student loans, a small business loan
Note that I said, no. 9, near the end of the journey. Early on, a mortgage is a necessity. If you are a small-business owner, certainly. But that's about it.

Later on ... Debt in retirement makes no sense, go ahead, make an argument.

I am not a fan of debt, never have been and never will be.
+1 :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

Yipee-Ki-O
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Yipee-Ki-O » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:26 pm

Via a large position in my employer's stock held in an ESPP and 401k. That's also how later I came to lose a half million.

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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by travellight » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:14 am

interesting article on the 5 million... thanks for the link.
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alexfoo39
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by alexfoo39 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:42 am

Kosmo wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:16 pm
I find it interesting that the people who responded where primarily split between 2 camps: saving diligently for a long time or working/saving incredibly hard for a short time. There's not a lot of "I got lucky" or "my plan wasn't working, so I changed it" or other means.

I'm roughly 15% of the way to a million. I'm in the save diligently camp. I'll report back here in about 2 decades (according to a crude 10 sec calculation).
time to submit progress report for Bogleheads board review =)

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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by 22twain » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:55 am

Also note that $1M in August 2013 dollars corresponds to about $1,075,000 now. Gotta move the goalposts to keep up with inflation. :wink:
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Portfolio7
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Portfolio7 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:08 pm

Started saving I was about 27,DW 25. Roughly 14% of low-end professional income, now about 11%. At 46 we hit $1M NW. At 50, we passed $1M of invested financial assets. We've some things work against us over the past 15 years, my pension has been slowly stripped, DW's business has had growing pains, we've had a ton of medical costs, at one point we were only putting away about 7% of income... but that 401k money just keeps growing. We kept piling money into those 401k accounts, and never did anything crazy in terms of AA or investment style.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest" - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by pokebowl » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:58 am

Kosmo wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:16 pm
There's not a lot of "I got lucky" or "my plan wasn't working, so I changed it" or other means.
I got lucky with single stock investments prior to adopting indexing. I still work and save as much as I can in my retirement accounts, but those lucky single stock picks allowed me to wipe off 20 years of needed career work.

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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Dandy » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:39 am

I believe I got there in my late 50s.
1. Lived below our means - e.g. drove used cars, changed my oil, even rotated my tires. Painted my house twice before having it sided. Always had a nice vacation with the kids though.
2. Saved for retirement with my first full time job at 22? Put 3% in and got a match after a 1 year wait period.
3. With every raise or bonus put some extra away for retirement. Either upped my percentage or if that was too much bought payroll deduction savings bonds. As, on old timer put it, if you put some of the raise away before you get used to it you will never miss it. Pretty true. By mid life I had mid double digits allocation to my 401k.
4. Invested conservatively to moderately. Started with all in Stable Value because I know nothing about investing. At my peak I had maybe 55% allocation to equities. Stable Value started at 11% and gradually went down to about 5% at retirement. But, we had higher inflation too.
5. I had a job with good benefits that lasted for almost 30 years and got another job for about 10 years with better comp.
6. Kids went to state colleges that had reasonable costs. Neither child or us had student loans and both got their Masters.

Lots of luck. Good job, good benefits, good kids/marriage mostly good health and a good investment environment for the most part. As far as reaching my number the key was investing early, automatically, and pushing to increase the amount almost annually.

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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Quaestner » Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:46 pm

I'll be the first to use the "I" word. DW and I had parents who saved like they would live to 110, but didn't. We inherited it a bit more than a decade ago. Feels undeserved, but there it is. We haven't blown it all - yet!

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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by marti038 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:03 pm

Quaestner wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:46 pm
I'll be the first to use the "I" word. DW and I had parents who saved like they would live to 110, but didn't. We inherited it a bit more than a decade ago. Feels undeserved, but there it is. We haven't blown it all - yet!
I have similar aspirations for my kids, although I hope to shock them a bit with how much money is in the estate.

At the end of 2013, DW and I (aged 30 & 32 then) had $211,958 in our retirement accounts (I don't recall how much liquid cash we had, but I doubt it was much more than 3-6 months of expenses. At the end of 2018, we had $404,747 (note: we're at $518,690 as of Thursday morning).

We've contributed about 15% of our income to these accounts every year and are invested 100% in stocks (mostly through mutual funds).

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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by smitcat » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:14 pm

tipswatcher wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:23 pm
Eh, debt isn't evil. Everything in moderation, a reasonable mortgage, a small amount of student loans, a small business loan
Note that I said, no. 9, near the end of the journey. Early on, a mortgage is a necessity. If you are a small-business owner, certainly. But that's about it.

Later on ... Debt in retirement makes no sense, go ahead, make an argument.

I am not a fan of debt, never have been and never will be.
Debt that is friendly if used logically includes..
- Mortgage dept
- business debt
- CC debt when paid off monthly
- School loan debt

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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:21 pm

steve roy wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:39 pm
I think it's simple and ... fairly boring.

1) Pick an asset allocation -- 60% stocks/40% bonds, or anything else within the parameters of 70/30 (bonds or stocks, your choice.)

2) Put 10% of your earnings into investment/tax advantaged accounts every week. Put in more if you can afford it.

3) Don't second-guess yourself and change allocations when the going gets bumpy. Stay the course.

4) Get emotionally distant from the process. If you start getting elated when holdings shoot up, or despair when they plunge, you'll take some wrong-headed actions and your problems will multiply. If you start chasing returns, you will live to regret it.

5) Use index funds and strive to get your costs down to 10 basis points. Or less.

6) Be light-hearted about the whole thing. You're working toward a comfortable, low-stress retirement. But remember than when you die, you'll die broke. (This realization helps to keep me on an even keel.)
This. I actually put in 15% for 20 years as that was affordable. Last 10 years I couple put in more since my income increased more. Also started saving in taxable. And Roth IRA.

The Great Recession really hurt at the time. But I upped ( not a huge amt) the amount going to stock and it turned out well.

Consistency will work well. It needs to be a slow steady drumbeat. You don’t know how it will turn out except that you will have more than if you don’t save and invest.

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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by stoptothink » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:24 pm

marti038 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:03 pm
Quaestner wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:46 pm
I'll be the first to use the "I" word. DW and I had parents who saved like they would live to 110, but didn't. We inherited it a bit more than a decade ago. Feels undeserved, but there it is. We haven't blown it all - yet!
I have similar aspirations for my kids, although I hope to shock them a bit with how much money is in the estate.

At the end of 2013, DW and I (aged 30 & 32 then) had $211,958 in our retirement accounts (I don't recall how much liquid cash we had, but I doubt it was much more than 3-6 months of expenses. At the end of 2018, we had $404,747 (note: we're at $518,690 as of Thursday morning).

We've contributed about 15% of our income to these accounts every year and are invested 100% in stocks (mostly through mutual funds).
+1. Wife and I turned 38 and 33 in the last few weeks, we just crossed $650k in retirement assets, have another $200k+ in home equity (mortgage pay-off ETA <3yrs), and our 7 and 4yr olds have enough in 529s at this point to likely cover a 4yr education (at local schools). I've vowed not to update our portfolio until my 40th birthday, when I suspect we'll be right around the $1m mark for retirement assets. We both grew up in abject poverty and when we met 7yrs ago, we were both essentially broke thanks to divorces and a lot of school (in my case). Our incomes are ramping up significantly at this point and we near finishing paying for school (wife), daycare, and a mortgage so savings rate should skyrocket in the next few years. We live way below our (modest, for this board) means. Our goal is for our children to not have to have the same financial reality struggles we had as children, but never know how much we have either. I can't wait to see their faces in 10,15, 20yrs when they find out their college education is paid for and that they might get pretty cool wedding gifts (like, paid-for homes). That's the dream, anyways.

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packer16
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by packer16 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:47 pm

We did it in a little different manner. Our focus was to give & save. We donated about double our savings rate & still ended up with a sizable portfolio. We had about 21% after all living expenses & divided the remainder 2/3rd / 1/3rd. Most all of the savings were in tax-deferred or tax-free (from a Roth conversion years ago) accounts. This lowered our taxes but left us with alot of IRA assets. The gains have dwarfed the savings over time. We hit the mark in 2011 at age 47. I also made most of my gains in individual stocks so again different from the typical Boglehead. Other helping factors was no college debt (I went college on an ROTC scholarship & paid for MBA w GI Bill) & a frugal wife.

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smectym
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by smectym » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:44 pm

Like some others here didn’t get started in “real jobs” until my thirties. My spouse and I both became lawyers in big law but the first mil came almost entirely from cashing out of the first big real estate bubble in 2006. A few other mil have followed through income and capital appreciation during the post-2009 equities boom. As others have said, it’s just something that one day you wake up and realize has happened. It’s a bit of an anti-climax.

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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Bastiat » Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:27 am

If you are talking about net worth I did it in my mid-late 20's by investing in real estate. I got lucky with the timing and also worked really hard to get a good deal on my first property, and have been thus far successful (but not as successful) with my second. Both rentals are cashflow positive, and between the two I add >$1,000/mo to my net worth just in principal repayment, which the renters pay for.

If you're talking about liquid assets I'm not there yet, but max out retirement accounts and invest in taxable every year. My asset allocation is about 95/5. I started at age 20 in September 2007 and am more than halfway there.

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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by truenorth418 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:54 am

I was 43 when I achieved 1 million in investable assets. (I already owned my home free and clear). I did this after working my ass off in a corporate marketing job I despised and saving over 70% of my after tax lifetime income to that point, most of this saved after about age 35.

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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Rudedog » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:25 am

I've been very lucky. I had parents who were very frugal, taught me to watch my money closely. I married a woman who is very tight with money. Real tight. We have been good savers, drove old cars, just did not spend a lot. Good health. Max'd out 401K, always got company match. When I got a bonus at work, put it in the stock market, good dividend payers. Went with Vanguard starting in about 1999. The power of compounding is great!

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:57 am

sesq wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:24 pm
I agree with the advice about marrying a frugal spouse, but be pretty sure you won't divorce said spouse.
I divorced a not-really-frugal woman in my 40s. That took me out of the two comma club. But, I discovered that marrying a frugal-ish woman who is a good earner could get me back in the club.

Even with our considerable luck in income, we continue to LBOM, although we are spending a lot on our house lately. We try not to fritter money away, but to spend on things we consider worthwhile and enduring (geothermal, solar, education, etc).
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by ThreeBears » Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:16 pm

I'm 42. I'm almost half-way there (total invested assets around $450,000). Honestly, I look around and I'm not sure how I've done so poorly.

I'm intending to reach it by 50 at the latest. I'm not planning on retiring until 65. I like my job reasonably well... most days.

I guess I didn't know how to get a real job when I was younger. My parents are both broke and uneducated and incapable of saving money.

I obtained a professional degree when i was about 32. That was an expensive decision, as I stopped working for a few years, and I had over $150,000 of debt at that point. I paid it all off. But, paying that down for years certainly slowed any retirement plan.

Still, I think I will retire with around 3 million. And we live a good life, so I can't complain that much.

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Kosmo
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Kosmo » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:15 am

alexfoo39 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:42 am
Kosmo wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:16 pm
I find it interesting that the people who responded where primarily split between 2 camps: saving diligently for a long time or working/saving incredibly hard for a short time. There's not a lot of "I got lucky" or "my plan wasn't working, so I changed it" or other means.

I'm roughly 15% of the way to a million. I'm in the save diligently camp. I'll report back here in about 2 decades (according to a crude 10 sec calculation).
time to submit progress report for Bogleheads board review =)
Thanks for keeping me honest! My wife and I are now just shy of 50% on the way to an inflated million dollars. Our effort was salary increases and savings rate increases.

alexfoo39
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by alexfoo39 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:12 am

stoptothink wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:24 pm
marti038 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:03 pm
Quaestner wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:46 pm
I'll be the first to use the "I" word. DW and I had parents who saved like they would live to 110, but didn't. We inherited it a bit more than a decade ago. Feels undeserved, but there it is. We haven't blown it all - yet!
I have similar aspirations for my kids, although I hope to shock them a bit with how much money is in the estate.

At the end of 2013, DW and I (aged 30 & 32 then) had $211,958 in our retirement accounts (I don't recall how much liquid cash we had, but I doubt it was much more than 3-6 months of expenses. At the end of 2018, we had $404,747 (note: we're at $518,690 as of Thursday morning).

We've contributed about 15% of our income to these accounts every year and are invested 100% in stocks (mostly through mutual funds).
+1. Wife and I turned 38 and 33 in the last few weeks, we just crossed $650k in retirement assets, have another $200k+ in home equity (mortgage pay-off ETA <3yrs), and our 7 and 4yr olds have enough in 529s at this point to likely cover a 4yr education (at local schools). I've vowed not to update our portfolio until my 40th birthday, when I suspect we'll be right around the $1m mark for retirement assets. We both grew up in abject poverty and when we met 7yrs ago, we were both essentially broke thanks to divorces and a lot of school (in my case). Our incomes are ramping up significantly at this point and we near finishing paying for school (wife), daycare, and a mortgage so savings rate should skyrocket in the next few years. We live way below our (modest, for this board) means. Our goal is for our children to not have to have the same financial reality struggles we had as children, but never know how much we have either. I can't wait to see their faces in 10,15, 20yrs when they find out their college education is paid for and that they might get pretty cool wedding gifts (like, paid-for homes). That's the dream, anyways.
I urge you, if you love your children, to read the millionaire next door. Pls put it on high priority list.

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peterinjapan
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by peterinjapan » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:20 am

I’m 50, and am at maybe $3.5 mill, but that includes my primary residence so it’s hard to count. I think I hit $1 million sometime after 2008, by never selling during bad times and adding to my investments as things were recovering. I consider $1 to be meaningless. I’m currently hoping to hit $2 in my primary brokerage account.

thefirst100k
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by thefirst100k » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:24 am

livesoft wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:42 pm
I didn't get a real job until I was 28 years old. I decided that I wanted to reach a number by age 40, but that number was not a million. I was married and we basically just saved/invested the entire salary of the higher paid spouse while paying living expenses and taxes with the lower paid spouse's salary. As for reaching a million, that happened about 15 years after starting the plan.

We were living near NYC at the time, so the cost of living was higher back then for us than it is now. In particular, rent was the most I have ever paid in the past 28 years and so were state income taxes.

So some takeaway lessons:

1. You don't have to earn 6-figure salaries.
2. You don't have to start before age 28.
3. You don't have to live in a low cost of living place.
4. You don't have to be childless.
This is encouraging. I didn't get my first job until age 29. I'm 32 now and only recently got out of student loan debt. I also live in New York, but not the city. I save around 70% of my income and hope to retire by 40ish.

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HomerJ
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by HomerJ » Fri May 03, 2019 11:39 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:02 pm
edge wrote:Hmm ya, but you might have to have invested through the 90s?
My wife and I hit our peak earning years right around 2007-2008... We saved a ton in 2008 and 2009 and 2010. Almost all of which has doubled. The money we saved in 2011 and 2012 hasn't done too bad either :)

But yeah, I'd love to see my money grow 4x like it did in the 90s. I'm only 44, so I figure I'll see at least one more big bull someday... maybe it's already started, but if we crash again or go sideways for a while, that's all right... Maybe it will start when I hit 55, and I can start my retirement at the beginning of a 15-year bull market. :)
Heh, I got my wish... The post above was 6 years ago. I wished for one more big bull someday, and I got it.
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”

Xrayman69
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Xrayman69 » Sat May 04, 2019 7:09 am

Compound interest and steady contribution to asset allocation. Started aggressively 2006 (15-20% salary equivalent when including company match). Got lucky that the great recession occurred with low basis. Continued consistently with contributions and increased with raises to keep same 15-20%.

First child 2010.

2014 1M
2019 2M

Will continue with same process indefinitely (15-20% savings rate: tax friendly max, Roth backdoor, taxable all in vanguard low cost).

HCOL area, home 2009, 25% remains of mortgage amount (paid extra every month). Essentially all principle at this point. Took 30 year mortgage with payment amount towards 18 years but on pace for much earlier, (wanted the flexibility of 30 year as opposed to mandate of 15 year mortgage). Will likely cut back extra payment ammount when/if opportunity to put extra into investment accounts with another 10-20% pullback/correction.

alfaspider
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by alfaspider » Sat May 04, 2019 8:19 am

There’s a lot of ways to slice and dice what “counts”, but by our account aggregator number hit $1MM last year about 5 years after net worth zero (was down as low as minus 50k due to student loans). Goal is “basic” FI (Could retire with lifestyle cutbacks) in 5 years and full FI in 10. Of course, that all depends on continued steady employment and a reasonably cooperative stock market.

No secret sauce: two professional earners, high savings rate, roughly 80/20 asset allocation with low-cost funds.

The biggest mental adjustment for me after hitting around $1MM is that the value is less and less tied to current contributions. You have to remind yourself that continued contributions and dollar cost averaging isnjow you got here in the first place!

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Sandtrap
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Sandtrap » Sat May 04, 2019 8:25 am

I have no specific idea when I arrived at my first million since I reinvested all of my money back into my construction and R/E business (rentals).
But, when I liquidated a substantial portion to relocate and possibly retire I was both surprised yet disappointed at how much I had.
Too little because I had worked so hard for so long :shock: .. . or . . enough and fine because I was thankful and counting my blessings. :D

I'm not sure if others in the same position would have felt the same.

aloha
j :happy
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

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Sandtrap
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by Sandtrap » Sat May 04, 2019 8:27 am

HomerJ wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 11:39 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:02 pm
edge wrote:Hmm ya, but you might have to have invested through the 90s?
My wife and I hit our peak earning years right around 2007-2008... We saved a ton in 2008 and 2009 and 2010. Almost all of which has doubled. The money we saved in 2011 and 2012 hasn't done too bad either :)

But yeah, I'd love to see my money grow 4x like it did in the 90s. I'm only 44, so I figure I'll see at least one more big bull someday... maybe it's already started, but if we crash again or go sideways for a while, that's all right... Maybe it will start when I hit 55, and I can start my retirement at the beginning of a 15-year bull market. :)
Heh, I got my wish... The post above was 6 years ago. I wished for one more big bull someday, and I got it.
Congratulations!!
That means you finally hit "the number"???

j
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

flyingaway
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by flyingaway » Sat May 04, 2019 8:34 am

$1M today is probably the minimum for a young person to declare financial independence, in order to pursue other interests.

alfaspider
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by alfaspider » Sat May 04, 2019 9:06 am

flyingaway wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:34 am
$1M today is probably the minimum for a young person to declare financial independence, in order to pursue other interests.
It really depends on what you are comfortable with. Someone who is happy to live the “van life” is very different from someone with two kids in day care.

supersharpie
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by supersharpie » Sat May 04, 2019 11:04 am

SirHorace wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:45 pm
1) Marry a frugal woman
2) Live below your means
3) Anytime you get an increase in your income or a unexpected windfall automatically allocate 25% (or more if possible) of the increase to your investments
4) Plus everything else that has been mentioned !!!
Marrying a frugal partner is so key. My wife and I are 35 and, including home equity, about 70% of the way to the two comma club. She rarely buys anything and asks for nothing other than plenty of travel, which we do on a budget (book flights using our Sapphire Reserve points and stay exclusively in Airbnbs rather than expensive hotels).

Were she materialistic we wouldn't have anything close to our net worth. Choosing a childfree lifestyle has also resulted in us having tens of thousands of extra annual income to invest.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by TheTimeLord » Sat May 04, 2019 11:27 am

alfaspider wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 9:06 am
flyingaway wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:34 am
$1M today is probably the minimum for a young person to declare financial independence, in order to pursue other interests.
It really depends on what you are comfortable with. Someone who is happy to live the “van life” is very different from someone with two kids in day care.
I believe LEAN FIRE folks probably have a great time in the 30s and probably most of their 40s but I always wonder if they wake up one day on their 40s or 50s and start to regret not having some of the more conventional things and relationships in life plus concerns about financing the price of care as they age.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

chicks
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by chicks » Sat May 04, 2019 11:28 am

About 17 years ago, I was working for WorldCom, naively accepting that everything they were matching in the 401K was company stock, happy that my stock options were approaching $1 million, happily buying company stock at a discount via the ESPP. I believed the BS. Oops.

https://money.cnn.com/2002/07/19/news/w ... ankruptcy/

Lost nearly everything, woke up, decided to educate myself about investing. This site, among others, helped point the way, including outside investing in Vanguard. Now, after 17 years, retired, with $2 million in investments, by living simply, spending far less than I earned, and investing the rest more wisely. Maxing out the 401K, ensuring the match wasn't in company stock, or if it was, quickly moving it to a target fund (not many other good choices in MegaCorp's 401K, unfortunately).

BrooklynInvest
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by BrooklynInvest » Sat May 04, 2019 11:43 am

How did I get to a million?

"Slowly, and then all at once."

Tried to save when I was young and life threw a few curve balls. Then things came together. Three key lessons for me -

1. I now ignore the noise entirely, and there's a lot of noise. A simple portfolio is the best portfolio and people on TV know less than nothing

2. I don't get disheartened. Easier said than done but if you're investing for the long term, market drops are your friend and compounding is your best friend.

3. I look at my spending in terms of hours worked. If I want... a new camera lens say, how long do I have to work to SAVE (not earn) the dollars needed?

Good luck!

stonerolled
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by stonerolled » Sat May 04, 2019 4:56 pm

First off, congrats on finding this forum, I don't know where I'd be without it then or for now staying the course...
If its net worth, I'm not sure due to a paid for residence and a $60,000/year pension. My main account is edging toward that extra comma now and its driving me nuts. The pension is counted as my first million if it were reverse annuitized. The main account is counted as the second million if it gets there. I've gone back to work part time that brings in 50k so I count that as my third million but of course my presence is required. Every extra dollar goes to that main account until that extra comma appears.
I got smart and began rolling raises into savings at work back in 97 at age 34. My meager inheritance limped along since the mid eighties weathering new car purchases and fees from merrill and edward. Thanks to John Bogle's CSOMF, I put what was left in Vanguard index funds about 40k in 2007. The same was done with the work account which had decent low cost choices as well.
On the expense side, as so many on here I ...
Bought a modest house and still live here 21 years later and do most of the maintenance including efficiency improvements.
Actually drove smaller and smaller cars and began a car account which is now worth 65k which may be self regenerating now.
Began cooking at home which was as much about health and aggravation as the money.
I am single so my wife is extremely frugal.
Lately I've realized that what is nice is income. Most of my main account is in IRA's which is nice but not really income now. The part time job has done more for my financial breathing room due to it being available ongoing income. The IRA's will one day but not now, no way I'm tapping those for quite a few more years.

stoptothink
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Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

Post by stoptothink » Sat May 04, 2019 5:21 pm

alexfoo39 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:12 am
stoptothink wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:24 pm
marti038 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:03 pm
Quaestner wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:46 pm
I'll be the first to use the "I" word. DW and I had parents who saved like they would live to 110, but didn't. We inherited it a bit more than a decade ago. Feels undeserved, but there it is. We haven't blown it all - yet!
I have similar aspirations for my kids, although I hope to shock them a bit with how much money is in the estate.

At the end of 2013, DW and I (aged 30 & 32 then) had $211,958 in our retirement accounts (I don't recall how much liquid cash we had, but I doubt it was much more than 3-6 months of expenses. At the end of 2018, we had $404,747 (note: we're at $518,690 as of Thursday morning).

We've contributed about 15% of our income to these accounts every year and are invested 100% in stocks (mostly through mutual funds).
+1. Wife and I turned 38 and 33 in the last few weeks, we just crossed $650k in retirement assets, have another $200k+ in home equity (mortgage pay-off ETA <3yrs), and our 7 and 4yr olds have enough in 529s at this point to likely cover a 4yr education (at local schools). I've vowed not to update our portfolio until my 40th birthday, when I suspect we'll be right around the $1m mark for retirement assets. We both grew up in abject poverty and when we met 7yrs ago, we were both essentially broke thanks to divorces and a lot of school (in my case). Our incomes are ramping up significantly at this point and we near finishing paying for school (wife), daycare, and a mortgage so savings rate should skyrocket in the next few years. We live way below our (modest, for this board) means. Our goal is for our children to not have to have the same financial reality struggles we had as children, but never know how much we have either. I can't wait to see their faces in 10,15, 20yrs when they find out their college education is paid for and that they might get pretty cool wedding gifts (like, paid-for homes). That's the dream, anyways.
I urge you, if you love your children, to read the millionaire next door. Pls put it on high priority list.
I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. I read TMNS when I was 18 and again about 5yrs ago, and I have given it as a gift about a dozen times. We live way below our means, saving over 50% of gross while cash-flowing wife's school, daycare for 2, and making double payments on our 15yr mortgage. We're saving about 3yrs in expenses per year right now and that is ramping up very fast. It's highly likely we'll be in a position to call it quits with about 95% chance of not outliving our savings in about 7yrs - when I am 45 and wife is 40. But we both like our careers so we'll probably work at least another decade. We'll have several times what we need. I don't plan on dying with it, so yeah, it's likely our kids will be starting out their adult lives standing on third base because we were successful; but until that point they'll know nothing but our very modest lifestyle and won't have a clue we have money. If you want to call that "economic outpatient care", I very much disagree, but you're free to have your opinion.

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