“Becoming rich is nothing more than a matter of committing and sticking to a systematic savings and investment plan,” writes financial adviser David Bach in his book “Smart Couples Finish Rich.”
“You don’t need to have money to make money,” he writes. “You just need to make the right decisions — and act on them.”
To illustrate the simplicity of building wealth over time, Bach created a chart (which we recreated below) detailing how much money you need to set aside each day, month, or year in order to have one million dollars saved by the time you’re 65.
The chart assumes you’re starting with zero dollars invested. It also assumes a 12% annual return.
The simplest starting point is to invest in your employer’s 401(k) plan, points out Ramit Sethi in his New York Times bestseller, “I Will Teach You To Be Rich.” Next, he says, consider contributing money towards a Roth IRA or traditional IRA, individual retirement accounts with different contribution limits and tax structures.
While the numbers in the chart below are not exact (for simplicity, it does not take into account the impact of taxes, and 12% is a high rate of return), they give you a good idea of how coming up with a couple of extra dollars each day can make an enormous difference in the long run, particularly if you start saving at a young age.
Next time you consider running to Starbucks for a $4 latté, think about this chart and consider redirecting that coffee cash to your savings:
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