Imagine there were no investment vehicles out there to help boost your wealth. The only way someone could acquire wealth is through saving money from working a job. Could someone still become a millionaire in a reasonable amount of time? Could you retire with $1 Million cash?
Short Answer, Yes.
Not only could someone accumulate a million by retirement, they could do it and probably even retire early! How early? Well, read this…
If someone sets the goal while in their early 20’s of saving $1 Million, then they can become a millionaire by age 46 (And remember… there are no stocks, bonds, businesses, rental properties, or any other type of investments in this scenario). This can be accomplished with just 2 things: 1) Hard work and 2) Discipline
Here is the scenario:
Ron is 23 years old. He and his girlfriend Stacey (also 23 years old) get married and live in a cheap 1 bedroom apartment in California for the first year while they are trying to figure out what they are going to do for careers. Together they have a goal to save $1 Million someday.
Ron has a buddy who was just hired as a police officer in his same California city and is getting paid $100k per year. Ron’s friend does not have a college degree and was first hired as a police recruit and put through the 6 month police academy. Once he graduated and was sworn in as a police officer, he started receiving his $100k annual salary. Ron decides this would be a great career and applies to be a new police recruit and go through the academy.
Stacy on the other hand, has plans to become a registered nurse. Her step mom is an RN and she has done a few job shadows with her and she thinks she will enjoy nursing. She knows that some nurses at the hospital in her California city make in excess of $100k per year. She knows that to become an RN she has to go through a 2 year nursing program, and it is pretty cheap since the local community college offers the program. Stacey enrolls in the program.
2 years later Ron and Stacey are both working in their choice career fields. Together they have a combined income of $200,000 per year. After taxes and other payroll deductions, their take home pay is about $130,000 per year. They now have rented and the moved into a modest, smaller 3 bedroom 2 bath home.
Ron and Stacey are not cheap, but they are frugal and they don’t like to waste money. They decide to save $4,000 of the $10,833 they take home each month, leaving them with $6,833 per month to live on. They commit to sticking with this budget and to NEVER touch their savings. Ron and Stacy are paying themselves first. They also know that over time, they will receive pay raises and they figure that they can hold off on some of the “nicer things in life” until they get their raises and have some extra cash in their budget. Not that they don’t have some nice thing already with their current budget, they just don’t want to fully indulge just yet.
Ron and Stacey stay on course for 21 years without ever dipping into their savings account. Ron is now 46 years old and he logs into his bank account online to see if his paycheck has been posted to his account yet because it is payday. To his disbelief he sees his savings account just clicked over to 7 digits! There is a little more than $1 Million in their savings account!
Don’t think this is possible? Well it is, I personally know a couple doing this exact thing and they are about 10 years in and half way to a million. In fact they are actually a lot closer to a million than that, because in the real world there ARE other investment vehicles to help grow your wealth! This couple should be reaching a million many years earlier than Ron and Stacey did in the story.
Here are 3 law enforcement agencies in California that start at about $100k per year:
1) San Jose PD (starting pay $99k)
2) Santa Clara PD (starting pay $112k)
3) Berkeley PD (starting pay $94k)
(many police and sheriff’s departments all over California offer salaries of at least $100k after just a few years of service)
I won’t even list RN jobs paying over $100k because they are VERY common in California.
The point of all of this is to point out that reaching that $1 Million mark truly IS POSSIBLE. Even if you are not willing to commit to saving almost 40% of your income like Ron and Stacy did… you could save 20% and invest that money and reach your goal just as quickly. $1 Million is much more attainable that most people think it is.