Disclaimer: this is not financial advice, this is just the results of an online calculator using past historical trends – I cannot guarantee the future will work the same way and there is no guarantee by following this advice you will be a millionaire.
Saving $100 a week for retirement may seem like a lot of money, and it’s a decent number but is possible for every american with proper budgeting. If you save that amount from the time you turn 18 – due to the miracle of compound interest – you can retire a millionaire and live a comfortable life.
I’ve chosen to invest in the S&P 500 as it has a great historical return of 9% per year (rounded from the actual rate of 8.9%) which is excellent. There will be a 2.5% inflation rate as is the average. I’ve decided on a 22% tax rate as is the same for the average american.
I’ve set the goal of $1,000,000 to live a comfortable retirement – this equates to a $40,000 return every year off of the interest, enough to live comfortably on.
1 year in:
Congrats, you’ve made $5,500 adjusted for inflation. This is a great milestone to start your investing career off right. You’re only 19, but miles ahead of your friends. Only a lifetime left.
5 years in:
Congratulations, you’re $28,200 in and this is a great number; you’re probably entering the workforce after graduating college, and that’s fine as now you have more money to spend on the things you want to do because the $100 stays the exact same even as your paycheck increases.
10 years in:
So, you have $60,000 invested… excellent, especially since you’re not even 30 and most of your peers are nowhere near that. In fact most of your peers don’t have $1,000 saved or invested.
The best news is that it seems like you’ve found that special someone finally and your parents will hopefully like them… right???
20 years in:
$140,000 dollars invested, it may seem like a while left to go, and it is considering you’re almost 40 and hate work. You’ve reached the peak in your field, and your body is past its physical peak also. Your marriage isn’t going great… it’s tough raising kids, but you know it’s close to retirement time – especially now that compound interest is kicking in. The good news is you still only need to put in $100 every week – It’s manageable.
30 years in:
$250,000 invested – just in time for your midlife crisis to take effect. You’re almost fifty and you can find some grey hairs on your pillow. Your kids are nearly off to college, and you have the money to help them out, you’re still working after all – and you only contribute $100 a week to your retirement, irregardless of whatever you make. Your parents have both passed now and that’s tough for you to deal with, luckily you still have a supportive family to get you through it.
40 years in
$415,000 in and you’re almost 60 years; the kids have all graduated from college themselves, in fact your son is going to live and work on a Martian colony – to avoid the increasing effect of global warming and climate change. You stay put in your little house that you finally have paid off. You’ve got 12 more years to work, as they raised the retirement age to 70 a decade or so ago. Sucks for you, but you understand.
50 years in:
$660,000 invested although you’ve still got another 10 years until retirement as they raised the retirement age to 78 (author’s note: this is more story based than number based, if I stopped at 68 for benefits I could’ve added $100 from the social security check as the payment, so since It’ll hit a million either way so I decided to wait). Your kids never talk to you anymore because they’ve got kids of their own. You have a falling out with your siblings.
60 years in:
$1,000,000!!! Congratulations, you’re not even 80 and you’re a millionaire. You make enough that you can reinvest $100 of the dividends back into the pile. There have been some ups and downs on this road, but you’ve gotten here.
I’m going to 130 (assuming modern Medicine holds/best case scenario)
88 years old: $1,600,000
98 years old: $2,500,000
108 years old: $3,800,000
118 years old: $5,400,000
130 years old: $10,000,000
you’ve hit a massive number before you died, the good news is there’s a bigger stockpile for your kin to spend, and even better is it’ll all be gone in a flash.