We’ve all heard the stories: the hotel maid or shoemaker who put three kids through college—or died and left a fortune to charity. Where did the money come from?
While $1 million may not buy what it once did, the goal is reachable, suggest the editors at Kiplinger, the personal finance magazine, who offer 10 secrets about “the millionaire next door” that could determine whether you can someday be one of them:
Most millionaires are self-made. They weren’t born into money, but worked hard and smart to become millionaires.
Most millionaires don’t have advanced degrees. Some 74 percent have an undergraduate degree, but only 18 percent have a master’s, while only 8 percent have a law degree and 6 percent became physicians. However, those with advanced degrees generally earn more than those with undergrad degrees, and undergrads generally earn more than those with a high school diploma.
Millionaires are smart savers. They know that, thanks to the magic of compounding, a 20-year-old who begins saving $200 per month will be worth more than $1 million at retirement.
Most millionaires have limited knowledge about investing. They take professional advice and they do invest, but 78 percent say they still have a lot to learn about investing.
There are more millionaires in America now than in 2006. There are 7.7 million U.S. households with more than $1 million in investable assets today than there were before the Great Recession. That’s because as stocks recovered, so did their portfolios.
Millionaires hail from across the job spectrum. No matter where you work or how much you work, the key to millionaire status is saving, millionaires agree.
Making millionaire status costs more as you age. The longer you wait to start saving, the less money you will amass. A 45-year-old would need to save $20,400 a year to hit $1 million by age 65.
A majority of today’s millionaires live in Silicon Valley—although topping the list of small cities with a lot of millionaires is the resort town of Summit Park, Utah.
Millionaires still worry about retirement. That’s why they continue to save and invest.
Money doesn’t buy happiness. A Princeton University study confirmed most people are happier as they earn more, but that levels off. Someone making $300,000 a year is not necessarily happier about his or her life than someone making $75,000.
Barbara Pronin is a contributing editor to RISMedia.