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Posted: February 26, 2014

How to retire a millionaire at any age


By Clark Howard


Clark Howard is a nationally syndicated consumer advice expert

Years ago, I popped up a chart on my website called Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? The chart detailed how a 15-year-old teenager can save just $2,000 a year for 7 years. Then,never saving another penny again, the money can grow to be $1,000,000 at 65. 

Then I saw a MarketWatch story that came to the same conclusion using different numbers.

According to their findings, here's what you have to save each month to retire a millionaire if you start with $10,000 invested and your portfolio grows by 7% every year.

  • 25 year olds have to save a little over $300 a month. That's just $10 a day for the rest of their working lifetime.
  • 35 year olds have to save $775 a month.
  • 45 year olds have to save $1,850 a month.
  • 55 year olds have to save $5,700 a month.

The point is the earlier you start, the easier it is. But it's never hopeless at any age. If you're getting a late start, it just means you may have to delay your retirement.

One key to making the math work is to delay taking Social Security as long as you can. If possible, don't jump at the opportunity to take it at 62 like most people do. Working until 70 and taking Social Security at that age too is a great formula for success.

Maybe you don't care about retirement, in which case saving money never becomes something you're about. But if the goal is financial independence, you should start young and save every day. See my chart below, coupled with my investment guide, and you'll be on your way.

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