How long does it take someone to be a millionaire?

A millionaire is, by definition someone who has a net worth of $1,000,000 or more, not necessarily liquid assets. But I’m also interested in seeing how quickly the average man can become a millionaire if he’s really frugal.

So I made some sample data which obviously requires some estimates and assumptions.
Here are the assumptions:
-The man is a university graduate.
-The years start counting from when the man is 25. (so year 1 means the man is turning 26, has worked one year)
-The man gets $2000/paycheck, after taxes. I think this is fair considering I’m 23 and this is my paycheck. There are 26 paychecks in a year, totaling $52,000 in net income.
-The guy is very frugal. He spends only $150 a month on entertainment/clothes/gifts.
-Budget for food/groceries a month is $250, conservative yet doable.
-Interest and cellphone budget around $100.
-The guy doesn’t pay rent. He lives at home with his parents (so no other bills).
-He doesnt have a car, he takes public transportation which is about $100/month.
-He doesn’t have any investments, in fact he puts it all in an IRA.
-He doesnt plan to marry or have kids.

Here is the graph:

He becomes a millionaire at 48.
He becomes a millionaire at 48.

So, it takes him 23 years to save up a million dollars.

That’s a bit boring though, who wants to live like that? Here’s a more interesting graph with more assumptions:

Including spouse and investments
They become millionaires at 36.

So, the average man is not that frugal, but still wants to save money. His expenses are much like the guy above, except he purchases a car, stocks and eventually a house and gets married. But here are some more assumptions:
-Spouse’s income is 93% of the male’s according to trends. She also owns a car but doesn’t purchase stocks.
-Average cost of US home is $176,000 and average age of homebuyer is 31. Property taxes are about 1.3% of the value.
-S&P average annual returns over 10 years – about 8%. Houses increase about 3.75% each year annually (these are all data from Google searches).
-They don’t have kids yet and graduated debt-free.

So, actually your combined net worth with your spouse could be $1 million when you’re as young as 36. That’s if you live modestly, because I’m not accounting for alot of other expenses (such as going back to school or home furnishing) that may occur, various tax credits or inflation, but it’s doable. And It’s way more efficient to marry and invest than to save by yourself.

Ok so maybe $2000/paycheck is a bit high. But working two jobs, it can definitely be done. And I didn’t say it was going to be easy :). I have another graph here, so this time I’ll make the situation more plausible. The average starting salary in my field (IT) is about $55,000. So after Ontario taxes, that amounts to take home pay around $42,000. So after figuring that in the equation, let’s see how long it takes for the man+spouse to get combined net worth of 1 million+:

$1,000,000 net worth reached at 41
$1,000,000 net worth reached at 41

So after that income adjustment, you can see that it takes 16 years, so they will still be millionaires at age 41 if they live frugally. In short – save more, spend less. Some people think getting a million is really hard, but in actuality it just requires hard work, dedication and lots of saving.

Edit #2
At the time of writing the post, I was 21 and living in Canada. I’m now 23, living in California and indeed my paycheck is $2000, two times a month. So, completely doable in my field.

Edit #3:
I’m been on a Beatles spree lately. Here’s some reuploaded songs:


One response to “How long does it take someone to be a millionaire?”

  1. GO ANONYMOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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