How to Retire with $1 Million by 65

I recently traveled to Cartagena, Colombia for a wedding. I had never been to Colombia, or even South America for that matter, but I am so glad I had the opportunity to do so. What a wonderful city with so much culture. The picture at the top of this post is of the sunset over the Caribbean Sea at a restaurant called Café Del Mar.

I love to travel, and if I could plan 10 trips right now I would. But that’s expensive. And you know what else is expensive? Buying books at the airport; something I LOVE to do. But this trip, I didn’t want to spend the money, so I bought a magazine instead lol (which, btw, is still kind of expensive at the airport – whoops!)

The magazine I chose was Money Magazine because it featured someone whose advice I tend to agree with and someone who has inspired me time and time again: Dave Ramsey. But one header on the magazine caught my eye in particular: “How to Save $1 Million by 65”. Immediately I thought “HOW??????”, purchased the magazine, and read the article.



I’ve listened to a lot of financial advice that recommends investing for your retirement as soon as possible. The earlier you start, the more time your money has to grow and compound. Pretty standard stuff.

But I don’t always see articles that outline exactly how much you should set aside each month, depending on your age, if you intend to have $1 million saved by age 65. This article did exactly that.

“Assuming an 8% return on stocks, a 4% return on bonds, and accounting for an inflation rate of 2%, the least you can save to become a millionaire is $306 a month if you start when you’re 20 and plan to retire at 65”.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I was nowhere near even thinking about investing for my retirement during my junior year of college, at 20 years of age. And even if I was thinking about it, I likely wouldn’t have put in the work it would take to earn and set aside $306 every month while in school.

So this begs the question: What if you’re older than 20? How much would you have to save now, each month, in order to retire by age 65 with $1 million? Well here are the numbers:





As you can see, if you start saving later in life, it becomes increasingly difficult to put yourself in a position to reach $1 million by the time you’re 65.

Personally, I’d like to retire as soon as possible. So if I have to sacrifice some money now to set myself up for financial security in the future (which by the way, really isn’t THAT far away), I am all about it.

It helps to think about it this way: If you’re younger, you are so lucky to have time to watch your money grow over the years. After all, your time on earth is finite; you won’t always have 40 years to save for your retirement.

Now you might be thinking “Why do I need 1 million dollars for my retirement? That seems like overkill, I don’t need that much money”. Well, actually, it’s not that much money.

In fact, this same article in Money Magazine suggests saving $1 million for retirement should be a “rough minimum goal” because “there’s plenty of evidence that $1 million won’t be enough to sustain a retirement of several decades.”

If you’re saving for your retirement, that is awesome. Keep going. If not, start right now. Take advantage of your company’s 401(K) or open up your own Roth IRA.

Make your retirement a priority today, and I can guarantee you you’ll be so happy you did a few decades from now when your retirement nest egg is the sum of hundreds of thousands of dollars, or better yet, over a million.

This article suggests saving for retirement and paying down your student loans at the same time, but there are several sources with differing opinions that recommend focusing on one financial goal first, then the other.

If you’re not sure what to do for your particular financial situation, research a bit and ultimately just do what makes you most comfortable, and what you believe will set you up for financial success.

Credit to: Money Magazine for graphics/article references.


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A few years after graduating college, Taylor made it her mission to become debt free. After paying off all $60k of debt, she began to blog about what she's really passionate about: personal development. Nowadays, Taylor blogs about the topics of Mindset, Money, Health, and Career for women. Read more about Taylor here.

"It's Per$onal" is a super popular and anonymous blog series about the personal lives and finances of women all over the world. Check it out!

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