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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Mr. Tummy Mustache on April 09, 2014, 11:25:25 AM

Title: Ham
Post by: Mr. Tummy Mustache on April 09, 2014, 11:25:25 AM
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Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: rtrnow on April 09, 2014, 11:33:45 AM
Mine are not close to that and may never be. I plan to FIRE in a few months with less than 50% of $1M. I'm more inspired to leave on less and quit sooner.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: rescuedog on April 09, 2014, 11:36:23 AM
We (husband and I) on track to be a millionaires in <3 years after I turn 40.  Annually $73,500 is going away into retirement ($20k of that is from our work - 401a perk).  Husband had $200-300k in retirement when we joined finances, I had about $50k?  Just guessing.  The rest is a product of our joint finances of 3 years and interest.

I used the CNN calculator: http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/millionaire/millionaire.html

That is just in savings. 

We'll be millionaires in net worth before that due to the equity in the house though.

I don't know if that is useful at all since we're not millionaires YET!
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: payitoff on April 09, 2014, 11:37:00 AM
Mine are not close to that and may never be. I plan to FIRE in a few months with less than 50% of $1M. I'm more inspired to leave on less and quit sooner.

how long did it get you? how much were you putting away per month/year?   im trying to figure this out too, so far the calculator i found online is telling me ill reach 500k in 8 years if i save $3500/month. is that realistic?
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: TreeTired on April 09, 2014, 01:10:41 PM
Except for our first house, and starting with our second (we have only owned 4 including this one)  we put a lot of money down and had far too much equity in our home, so I don't think we reached $1mm in total financial assets excluding home until we sold our house.  We put $300k down and paid $780k in 1993 and sold it for $1.7mm in 2007 - instant millionaires at age 54!   (This last house, the one we live in now, we put 100% down)
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: HairyUpperLip on April 09, 2014, 03:11:04 PM
good thread idea. :)
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Workinghard on April 09, 2014, 05:26:34 PM
Mine are not close to that and may never be. I plan to FIRE in a few months with less than 50% of $1M. I'm more inspired to leave on less and quit sooner.

how long did it get you? how much were you putting away per month/year?   im trying to figure this out too, so far the calculator i found online is telling me ill reach 500k in 8 years if i save $3500/month. is that realistic?

It depends on your assumptions. At 7% return and 3% inflation you would have approximately $447,000 in 8 years per the calculator I used.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: 2527 on April 09, 2014, 06:26:02 PM
I was 41 years old.  I graduated without debt and had above average income and below average expenses.  I lived in low cost areas, including 6 years overseas where I didn't pay taxes.  I invested nearly 100% in stocks using lower than average cost mutual funds.   Never bought a house because I moved every couple years for my job.

One night I added up my assets, and they came to about $999,900.  I checked what I had in my wallet, and then my wife's purse, and we were about $3 over.  She laughed at me. 
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Workinghard on April 09, 2014, 06:44:14 PM
I was 41 years old.  I graduated without debt and had above average income and below average expenses.  I lived in low cost areas, including 6 years overseas where I didn't pay taxes.  I invested nearly 100% in stocks using lower than average cost mutual funds.   Never bought a house because I moved every couple years for my job.

One night I added up my assets, and they came to about $999,900.  I checked what I had in my wallet, and then my wife's purse, and we were about $3 over.  She laughed at me.

Love the story and the image of you checking your wallet and wife's purse! Kudos to you. We won't make the 41 year old goal since that has long since come and gone. We will make it though. I'm actually more excited that our 21 year old son is getting it. After funding a 2013 and 2014 Roth IRA, with a small inheritance, he's been logging into Vanguard daily. Glad the market has been up to give him that encouraging boost.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: oldtoyota on April 09, 2014, 06:44:24 PM
Why $1MM the number so many of us aim to reach or talk about reaching?
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: totoro on April 09, 2014, 06:51:14 PM
We made it in fifteen years from start to finish despite some very significant setbacks and four kids.

1. House appreciation.  Luck on that.
2. RRSP contributions and investments Did not do nearly as well as many here.
3. Purchase of rentals that are cash flow positive.
4. Starting two businesses that ended up growing.  This is kind of like the magic of compound interest.  Businesses take money and effort and don't make much to start (most of the time).  Keep at it and you can grow a niche skill or profitable business.  I was thinking of this again this morning when I saw how well a local firm that installs Ikea kitchens is doing:  http://www.ikaninstallations.com/
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: bigchrisb on April 09, 2014, 06:55:27 PM
I was 31.

I put my response in http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/share-your-badassity/the-first-million-is-the-hardest/ which has a number of other responses.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: marty998 on April 10, 2014, 05:49:04 AM
Why $1MM the number so many of us aim to reach or talk about reaching?

Well, what goal would you otherwise set? Saying you reached $839,426.57 doesn't have the same ring to it.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Emilyngh on April 10, 2014, 06:25:58 AM


Well, what goal would you otherwise set? Saying you reached $839,426.57 doesn't have the same ring to it.

How about "enough"?   That has a much better ring to it to me, and following mustachian principles, I would be surprised if most of us really require 1 million to have reached it.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: KBecks on April 10, 2014, 06:30:00 AM
I've heard that getting the first million is a bitch.  (pardon the language). 

Congrats to all who have achieved it! 
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: KBecks on April 10, 2014, 06:32:02 AM
Why $1MM the number so many of us aim to reach or talk about reaching?

Just speaking for myself $1MM would throw off about $40,000 annually, which is likely to be a much more popular and comfortable number to live on vs. $20k - $25k. 

We are not there yet, but we should be there within the next 3 - 7 years.   I would need to look at a calculator to make a better forecast and we are working on our budget / savings rate.  Fun stuff.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: rtrnow on April 10, 2014, 07:11:16 AM
Mine are not close to that and may never be. I plan to FIRE in a few months with less than 50% of $1M. I'm more inspired to leave on less and quit sooner.

how long did it get you? how much were you putting away per month/year?   im trying to figure this out too, so far the calculator i found online is telling me ill reach 500k in 8 years if i save $3500/month. is that realistic?

I've been saving for 10 years but only at really high levels the last two. I'm currently putting away about 4.5k per month but many years was way less than that. I actually have only about 350k invested. The rest of my income is from a rental property. I also have 1yr in cash since I plan to FIRE soon. The rental helps a lot. Based on the equity I have in the property I'm getting a 8% return after expenses.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: EnergyConsultant on April 10, 2014, 07:44:22 AM
At 34, if you count real estate in your calculation. Otherwise, 36.
7-8 years of 6-figure income helped, coupled with less-than-insane spend (still high, though, by MMM standard). Includes 3 kids.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: arebelspy on April 10, 2014, 07:53:21 AM
Will hit 1MM at age 30 in under 2 years (fairly confident in that projection, as I should it hit it regardless of any market gains or house appreciation; we should get there just from our current net worth plus our expected contributions/savings amounts over the next two years - though it was greatly bolstered by massive net worth jumps from things outside my control over the last year or two).

As with sol and OP, it skyrockets from there if we didn't FIRE.  We'd go from 1MM at 30 to 10MM at 45 (assuming expected returns, not 0% like above).

Not interested in that though, planning to FIRE right around the time we hit the two comma club.

Got there through high savings rate, hard work to earn extra side income, and real estate investing.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: DoubleDown on April 10, 2014, 09:05:49 AM
Which time?!

I first hit $1M at about age 30, but it would have required my death for a large life insurance payment. So ignoring that one, I made it again (for real) around age 37. Then I lost half (plus half of future earnings) in a divorce, and started again. I hit it again somewhere around age 43-44. Hopefully this one will stick (I am confident it will).
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: libertarian4321 on April 10, 2014, 09:49:57 AM
The first time?  I was around 36 years old.  That was during the stock market bubble of the late '90s. 

As you may have guessed, I became a non-millionaire around 2000 with the market crash.

I did it the old fashioned way, I earned a decent salary, invested it, and waited, which is pretty much the way I became a millionaire the second time (though as we get older, we tend to invest a bit more conservatively).

One other thing.  I started early, really early.  I probably still have money left over from the pennies I earned delivering newspapers as a 12-year old.  I was actually paid 3 cents per paper delivered from my ratty second hand bicycle- yeah, I was living the dream. :)

I kept on saving through progressively better paying jobs- dishwasher, burger flipper....(leaving out a bunch of crap jobs from HS/college)...soldier, engineer, senior engineer. 

Oh yeah, and I never went into debt- no credit card debt, no college debt, no car debt (except when it was at "0%), and now no home debt (I briefly had a mortgage, but could have paid it off whenever I chose do do so).

Our rate of net worth increase been slowed quite a bit in recent years, because we give a lot more to charity now than we did before that first million.  We figure now that we have reached FI, and have more than we are likely spend in your lifetime, it seems a little strange to keep aggressively pursuing still more dollars- though I'm sure many would disagree with me on that.

Some people might think "rich" folks would want to start shopping at expensive stores and restaurants, or buy a fancy house/car- but we just feel weird and out of place in overpriced stores like Saks or stuffy restaurants.  We still look and feel middle class, even though we probably aren't.

This is not the most well thought out post I've ever made.  Just a jumble of thoughts.  Hopefully, there is something someone will find useful in here.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: arebelspy on April 10, 2014, 11:06:58 AM
I kept on saving through progressively better paying jobs- dishwasher, burger flipper....(leaving out a bunch of crap jobs from HS/college)...soldier, engineer, senior engineer. 

But not king of engineers.

Good insight libertarian.  Nice to hear what you've done with it afterward.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Exflyboy on April 10, 2014, 12:14:19 PM
My story can be found here

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/share-your-badassity/i-retired-today!-%29/

Basically started with about minus $160k or so in 1996/97.. in my late thirties.. Just crossed $1.3M at 52 plus paid off house.. I think I crossed $1M (plus house) around Jan 2013.

Frank
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: soccerluvof4 on April 10, 2014, 12:44:21 PM
I have had alot of ups and downs. When i Was in my mid 20's was a workaholic in sales and while working got in early in a Franchise. Since i didnt need the money i took the profits and bought another store and another till i had 4. At 27 the company sold out to a Fortune 500 company I knew I could get top dollar because if I sold others would in panic  since i recently became president of the franchice association.  20 minute over the phone deal I was a millionaire after taxes.  But then the company i was actually working for tried to cut my income even though i had 70% of the business so i give them the finger and started a new business. BUT WAIT now I am getting a divorce and have a child.......say good buy to half! and then basically 18 years of child support payments of 3200$ a month after taxes. Well the new business boomed and am still in it and started building a house and moving every two years. Oh yeah living the dream one big mansion after another and having all the toys blah blah blah! STING! i loose 600k on home i built with cash! Had to sell only because I overbuilt and just wanted to put behind me. I have a vacation house I own outright now I am selling for a loss just to get my money back working for me.   So in  and out of the millionaire club all through my 30's and Got remarried at 32 and have 4 kids 15,13,10 and 8 and have been over since 34ish and been building/adding to it ever since.  Thats why so much of the advice on here is so true and priceless and I learn new stuff here everyday from those that have similar and different experiences in life. My big thing that saved me was no matter how high off the hog i lived I never spent what i didn't have and got into debt, but i sure spent what i had. But I also always gave to charity and back to the community anonymously...thats important!!  Once i settled down and figured it out Life became a whole lot better , less stressful and no one would know what  I don't have today other than I do live in a desirable home and area which I cant wait soon enough to move from.  To the younger folks , really anyone that has had ups and downs like anything the sooner you settle in the sooner you can build for ER steadily. Had I learned and done all the things I read and learn from sites like this...scary! But I am happy and love my life now and keep learning! Only look in the rearview mirror to learn!!
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: CommonCents on April 10, 2014, 01:20:25 PM
Fairly rough calculations, may be off by as much as 20% except the bold, which are accurate

Date           Age  Net Worth
Sept 1997   18:  4K
Sept 2001   22:  -$55k
Sept 2004   25:  -$35k
Sept 2007   28:  -$200k
End  2009   30:  0!

May  2012   32:  $825k
End  2013   34:  $1M

My journey may not be quite what you're seeking, as I married into it (I'll give you one guess when above).

1997: I graduated from high school.  I had probably $2k in a checking account and $2k in a Roth IRA from babysitting, summer employments, and grad gifts.

2001: I graduated from college.  My parents paid for a chunk of college, I had scholarships, a gift from my grandfather, and worked, but the rest went on loans.  I don't have the figures in front of me, but my recollection is $12,500 in an interest free 5-year loan, about $50k to my parents and about $12,000 in other loans. 

2004: I accepted a $50k/year job in 2001, but with the economy, most of our offers were reneged.  (Apparently Harvard was able to force the company to still take their students or they'd never be permitted to recruit on campus again.)  Mine was canceled 10 days before I was to start my job - and the same day I had signed a lease.  Also days before 9/11 so jobs were harder to get.  I took a $29k/year job in 2002 (temp for a few month prior).  I paid off almost half of the MOAA loan and I had continued to contribute to my Roth IRA though, perhaps $10k and had a few thousand in my checking account.  I headed off to grad school, incurring more debt. 

2007: I graduated from law school, with 8.5% interest on my student loans and an offer from a big law firm - again into a bad economy.  During law school, I continued to contribute some to my Roth IRA, and rolled over about $2k from a 401k into it.  But, I paid for school mostly through loans and didn't have much in the way of scholarships (I was granted $9k the first year, but they had a big screw up and I had to argue to keep it, I was not given it the following year) because they counted my parent's money and didn't consider losses from my dad's new business, only income.

2009: During my 2.5 years at the law firm I tried not to go crazy with my $160k+ salary (and bonus) and poured a lot into my loans.  (Although I did live alone with no roommates for the first time...in a place that cost me $1600 per month.  At least it was near work so I could walk/take the T.)  I got my first car in June 2007, a gift from my parents - a 1989 Corolla they were going to give to me or to charity.  Giving it to me meant I'd visit them 2 hrs away more often.  Put about $1k to get it to pass inspection, got about $1k back 4 months later when someone ran into me and totalled the car.  6 of those weeks I was overseas and not even driving it, so I had it useable for about 10 weeks...and didn't bother to replace it.   At the end of 2009, I finally had a zero net worth again (and a law degree)!  I maxed out my IRA each year, and in 2008-9 saved about $25k in my 401k.  (Flaw - I should have saved more, but I stopped because the following was coming...)  But the writing was on the wall regarding the job unfortunately, and I was one of many that needed to find employment again in the beginning of 2010.  Unfortunately, I stuffed away about $50k under the mattress for my emergency fund due to fear over the job situation, rather than putting it towards loans (now under 3%) or in the market.

2012: I worked part-time poorly paid employment and was on unemployment for over 2 years.  At the end of 2010, I moved in with my now-husband.  He had a paid off condo, so my expenses were pretty low (I paid groceries, cable, my loans, etc), allowing me to continue to save a little despite the very low wages.  In March 2012, I started a full-time job again.  In May 2012, we got married, suddenly bringing me (us) to about $800-850k in net worth. 

2013: At the very end of 2013, I tallied up our accounts and one day realized we had just over $1 million.  In part this was due to increasing value of the condo.  We bought a house in December.

2014: In March we sold the condo for more than expected, locking in $425k after fees, and put half into the house.  (For those curious, "my" net worth alone today is about $125k, although we have somewhat blended finances.)

DH's story is that he graduated from college in 1997 and was paid a lowly stipend while getting his phd from Harvard through 2005, of about $16k initially.  He earned some money editing on the side that helped supplement his income through around 2010, when he took a different job which had some ethical issues with continuing, and his source for work dried up.  In 1998 he bought a very small condo mortgage free with help from his mom, which he sold in Dec 03, when he bought the above mentioned larger condo mortgage free.  Their records are really unclear on who put in what (his mom continues to insist it was a gift), but best guess is his mom paid in about $250k to the condo and he paid the rest with downpayment/renovations of about $100k, with increase of about $100K in value outside the renos (got $425k after costs of about $20k).  Living mortgage free and being frugal helped him amass quite a stash.  He also made some good investing choices.  He's always had cheap cars, the current one a 2002 Honda Civic he's owned for 10 years. 

We have a little over a million now, with approximately 29% liquid but not tax-favored, 14.5% in Roth IRAs, 20% in other retirement (including traditional 401ks, 403bs, a traditional IRA, and the present value of my pension I would be given if I walked away today of $13.5k), and 36% in our house.  The mortgage/value of the mortgaged part of the house is not included in the above figures.  I still have ~$90k in 0, 2.5% and 2.75% interest student loans.

My next goal: $1 million in liquid net worth.

(Oh, and DH still feels "poor" because he has too many I-banker/MBA friends, including his brother.  He has money concerns about having kids, although the clock is ticking away on that decision.)
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: marty998 on April 10, 2014, 03:57:56 PM
Well done people, some of these stories are quite eye opening!

All good motivation.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: chasesfish on April 10, 2014, 07:43:12 PM
Why $1MM the number so many of us aim to reach or talk about reaching?

It's a goal I've had for 12 years.  Hoping to hit it before 35
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: dragoncar on April 10, 2014, 08:02:34 PM
Not there yet, but enjoying the show here.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Letj on April 10, 2014, 08:07:57 PM
I am reading everywhere that a million is not what it used to be which I guess means it's no big deal.  Would you consider someone with a million investable assets rich or wealthy?
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: dragoncar on April 10, 2014, 08:15:50 PM
I am reading everywhere that a million is not what it used to be which I guess means it's no big deal.  Would you consider someone with a million investable assets rich or wealthy?

A million isn't crazy wealth like it used to be, but it's enough to retire to a middle-class American life.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: iris lily on April 10, 2014, 08:22:19 PM
We were 50 before we reached $1M net worth and that included our house, so it's not all that much.

But we are now nearing $2M in our late 50's, but of course it's the bull market that's making that happen, nothing I can count on. As I look over each year's snapshot of our net worth, apparently we didn't have much in the market during dot com bust because we didn't lose anything.  Hooo boy we did lose in 2008, though. ack.

We are Midwesterner DINKS in a low COL city with income that is nice but not super high. We've paid cash for everything for the past 25 years.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: AlmstRtrd on April 10, 2014, 09:24:46 PM
Quote
I was 41 years old.  I graduated without debt and had above average income and below average expenses.  I lived in low cost areas, including 6 years overseas where I didn't pay taxes.  I invested nearly 100% in stocks using lower than average cost mutual funds.   Never bought a house because I moved every couple years for my job.

One night I added up my assets, and they came to about $999,900.  I checked what I had in my wallet, and then my wife's purse, and we were about $3 over.  She laughed at me.

I love this story!

Here is mine. I found a passion for something when I was 15 and worked hard at it. I was able to make a living after high school but never really figured out how to monetize my skills properly until I was about 30. In the meantime, though, I had seen a lot of the world, so maybe I was doing a conventional retirement in reverse. Unlike most on this forum I never made much of anything in the stock market because I always tried to time it. I did OK with bonds and made one nice real estate purchase which was just damn lucky. By 44 I had 1M in assets mostly through saving a lot of what I made and never incurring any major losses. I always tried to have as few realized gains as possible (though I didn't know the term for what I was doing until recently).

A big contributing factor in being able to save much of what I made is that I was single until I was 48. My lifestyle was never really (consciously) too spartan but I was lucky in that I didn't want much in the way of gadgets, cars and clutter. As a single person it's easy to afford what you want when it's just a simple place to live, a few books, decent food and inexpensive travel destinations. Of course, I won "the ovarian lottery" by being born relatively healthy in the US and having the opportunity to work during a time of relative prosperity.

Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: mjs111 on April 10, 2014, 09:39:52 PM
Would you consider someone with a million investable assets rich or wealthy?

I think that's up to each individual.  "Millionaire, multi-millionaire, billionaire, etc." are objective terms: either you are or you aren't.   "Rich/wealthy" are subjective terms, and I've heard different people define it as anywhere between having at least $1 million and $10 million, with the implicit assumption there that being that north of around $10 million on up is likely almost universally defined as rich these days.


Mike

Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: travelbug on April 10, 2014, 09:47:24 PM
We hit 1MM when I was 34 and DH 38.

We are now worth around 2.5MM at 38 and 41.


Interesting thread.

Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Tyler on April 10, 2014, 10:18:06 PM
Would you consider someone with a million investable assets rich or wealthy?

Filthy stinking rich.  :) Many people lose context because of their environment (like feeling "poor" with only a million dollars in New York), but in the grand scheme of things a million dollars qualifies you for the top 0.7% of wealth holders worldwide. 

(http://static6.businessinsider.com/image/52551ceceab8eade4b00e44f-800-/bwh4z9aiyaa6i3f.jpg_large.jpg)
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: RapmasterD on April 10, 2014, 10:31:15 PM
I'm thinking about 43. Nine years later we're about 200K away from $4 million liquid -- not including equity in house. No big scores, no huge option gains, etc. Just a two middle manager family with good incomes putting as much away as possible. Some stupid expenditures in the past year but still managed to sock away 46% in 2013 WITH a Roth IRA conversion that resulted in a significant tax bite. Portfolio allocation: 50% SPY ; 20% VIOV ; 25% BND ; 5% cash. We are mother fucking blessed. Thank you Lord! (not kidding)
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: warfreak2 on April 11, 2014, 04:22:17 AM
(http://static6.businessinsider.com/image/52551ceceab8eade4b00e44f-800-/bwh4z9aiyaa6i3f.jpg_large.jpg)
A pyramid, eh? ;-)

Subtle anti-capitalist commentary from Credit Suisse?
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: oldtoyota on April 11, 2014, 07:08:19 AM
Why $1MM the number so many of us aim to reach or talk about reaching?

Well, what goal would you otherwise set? Saying you reached $839,426.57 doesn't have the same ring to it.

True! And to clarify, I was not criticizing. I am genuinely curious where the idea of reaching $1MM came from--and has it changed over time due to inflation? In 1950, were people talking about reaching $500K or was it always $1MM?

Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: CommonCents on April 11, 2014, 07:33:50 AM
(http://static6.businessinsider.com/image/52551ceceab8eade4b00e44f-800-/bwh4z9aiyaa6i3f.jpg_large.jpg)
A pyramid, eh? ;-)

Subtle anti-capitalist commentary from Credit Suisse?

I'd add that it's somewhat irrelevant to make comparisons like this, because things like food in first world country cost a whole heck of a lot more than in those countries largely in the bottom of the pyramid.

Why $1MM the number so many of us aim to reach or talk about reaching?

Well, what goal would you otherwise set? Saying you reached $839,426.57 doesn't have the same ring to it.

True! And to clarify, I was not criticizing. I am genuinely curious where the idea of reaching $1MM came from--and has it changed over time due to inflation? In 1950, were people talking about reaching $500K or was it always $1MM?

$1M is a first goal.  For me, it's a progress step - I have goals after it. 
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: lhamo on April 11, 2014, 07:45:56 AM
First time on the upside:  August 07.  About 8 years after we started working post- grad school.  Helped by a good property purchase that doubled our investment, nicely growing markets, and below average taxes/expenses due to living in cheap expat location

First time on the downside:  September 08.  Dropped to a low of under $965k on March 9, 2009.

Second time on the upside:  April 09 -- at least that is when we hit it and stayed.  Aided by some strategic buying while the market was dropping/low, including significant lump sums invested into kids college and Roths.  Also starting to be aided by rapidly appreciating value of property we were purchasing (signed contract at the bottom of a dip in the local market)

At this point we are way above the 1m mark, hopefully so far above it that we won't hit it on the downside again unless we are nearing the end of our lives/have given most everything away.

Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: lexie2000 on April 11, 2014, 08:19:12 AM
We hit $1M in net worth in the fall of 2000; we were both 43.

A lot of it was in a 401k and an IRA, some was in taxable accounts, and the rest was home equity.  DH's gross income (working for mega corp) was less than $64K that year and we had been a single income household for over 13 years (I worked for 6 years at the same mega corp before becoming a SAHM/home-schooler). 

How did we do it?  We paid ourselves first and lived below our means. 
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: lexie2000 on April 11, 2014, 08:31:00 AM
Why $1MM the number so many of us aim to reach or talk about reaching?

Well, what goal would you otherwise set? Saying you reached $839,426.57 doesn't have the same ring to it.

True! And to clarify, I was not criticizing. I am genuinely curious where the idea of reaching $1MM came from--and has it changed over time due to inflation? In 1950, were people talking about reaching $500K or was it always $1MM?

I have no clue what people were thinking when we were not yet in kindergarten. LOL  Back in those days though, I imagine people were not as concerned about amassing wealth for retirement, relying more on pensions and SS in their "golden years" to see them through.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Spork on April 11, 2014, 08:41:36 AM

For me around 2007 I was a mouse whisker away (but not quite there)... though I was semi-retired and the crash was coming.  I knew I was going to go back to work.  I re-crossed that in 2010.

How?  The normal way:  CashIn > CashOut.  We're a single income couple on a single middle class income.  We live very comfortably and spend way more than the "mustacian badasses", but spend way less than my peers around me.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: rescuedog on April 11, 2014, 10:12:03 AM
Do you guys max out tax deferred accounts like Roth IRAs?  My wife and I do, and as such roughly 100k of our net worth is tied up in accounts I won't access until I'm at a traditional retirement age.  I assume all of you here looking to retire in your 30s/40s have the largest chunk of your money in after tax investments, correct?

We are maxing out two Roth IRAs, two HSA, and two 457b.  Our work gifts us 14.2% of our salaries to a 401a as part of our benefits package.  The 457b (income taxed when withdrawn, no penalties, must have quit job) will carry us for our 14.5 years of pre-retirement age living in ER (aiming for 43/45 I think).  The HSA are there for health insurance if needed.  We could use that all up and still have plenty in Roth and 401a for when we hit 59.5.  If we did not have this 457b option, yes, we'd need a different strategy for those pre-retirement age years.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Mister Fancypants on April 11, 2014, 11:33:29 AM
We hit it when I was 35, did by having two six figure jobs with 5 figure bonuses. We did get the benefit of living in a family owned apartment in NYC so it only cost us the maintenance, we were able to save 70% of our salaries prior to buying our house. Also had all of our education expenses covered by our parents, so we never had any debt obligations when we entered the workforce.

Our savings rate has dropped to about 40% since becoming home owners.

Our retirement accounts are invested in an ETF index based portfolio that I have automated to rebalance to market inefficient that beats standard passive investing year after year.

We have some active stock investments that have done very well, and our home equity has increased substantially, we bought after the housing bubble burst and pretty much stole our house and have refinanced it several times to reduce the interest expense tremendously. We have no other debt besides the mortgage.

We made the first $1mm prior to having children.

-Mister FancyPants
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Squirrel away on April 11, 2014, 12:00:35 PM
If we hit 1million then we could retire but I can't see it happening for a while.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Grateful Stache on April 11, 2014, 06:00:24 PM
Portfolio allocation: 50% SPY ; 20% VIOV ; 25% BND ; 5% cash.

Interesting AA. Is that recent or long-term? No international? Surprised (and jealous) it's so simple!

We are mother fucking blessed. Thank you Lord!

Hilarious!!
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Thegoblinchief on April 11, 2014, 06:13:37 PM
An interesting thread to read, but I doubt I'll ever get to the million mark. We can retire the way we want at about 2/3rds that.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: libertarian4321 on April 12, 2014, 03:44:28 AM
(http://static6.businessinsider.com/image/52551ceceab8eade4b00e44f-800-/bwh4z9aiyaa6i3f.jpg_large.jpg)
A pyramid, eh? ;-)

Subtle anti-capitalist commentary from Credit Suisse?

Not really.

Because I suspect that almost all of the people in the top 2 categories live in capitalist countries (probably 99+%).

And the overwhelming majority of those in the bottom 2 categories live in non-capitalist countries.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Squirrel away on April 12, 2014, 03:58:14 AM
An interesting thread to read, but I doubt I'll ever get to the million mark. We can retire the way we want at about 2/3rds that.

Oh yes, that too.:)
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Wile E. Coyote on April 13, 2014, 09:57:58 AM
"According to Mint, we reached that in August 2013, but that includes a large amount in home equity.

I had very little when I met my wife in 2004 after having left the rat race to start a business.  The business was not successful and I wound it down at the end of that year.  My wife had been very successful in her career and managed to save a good amount.  I went back to work in 2005, so we both had good incomes and were relatively frugal with our living expenses.  When we married in 2006, I had a small amount of student loan debt and very little else, so my net worth was probably only slightly positive, but my wife had about $50K in equity in her house, $175K in retirement accounts, and $130K in savings/taxable investments.

In early 2008, my wife left her job so that we could start a family.  We have been pretty good about saving, but have a very unmustachian home.  We max out my 401(k), but much of our excess cash has gone into paying down our mortgage a lot in order to get below the conforming limit and reduce our interest rate to 2.75%.  As of August 2013, we had about $370K in equity in our home (far too much, I know), $520K in retirement accounts,  $110K in cash/taxable investment accounts. 

The moral of the story, marrying well helps a lot!:)
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: BlueHouse on April 13, 2014, 11:01:37 AM
About 2 months ago, age 46.
Achieved by recent good fortune because other than spending less than I earn and not carrying credit card debt, I am a big spendypants!
Started a solo business 5 years ago, meaning my income went up considerably.  -- I also spent a lot more and bought an expensive house in an expensive COL neighborhood, so I think I could have been FI now had I not bought the house.  NW jumps occurred at 3 points in my life - each time I bought a house.
The biggest savings factor for me is being able to stash 50K/year in a solo 401k for the past 5 years.  Good thing I'm already "old", otherwise I'd be saving all that money without being able to touch it for years!  :)
I don't have enough cash or liquid to retire anytime soon.  All of my "wealth" is tied up in real estate and tax-deferred funds. 

Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: dude on April 14, 2014, 07:58:36 AM
Why a million?  Because that number still captivates many of us psychologically.  The term "millionaire," while not what it was in Rockefeller's day, is still rarefied air.  That being said, having $1M in invested assets was my goal for a long time.  It was only after finding MMM and similar websites that I realized I didn't have to get there to become FIRE.  So now my goal, in order to cease working 5 years hence, is @$800,000. I'm a good ways past half of that right now (I also have a pension that will provide the equivalent of what a 4% SWR on a $1.4M portfolio would provide annually -- for which I never cease counting my blessings, believe me).

Started working @16 years ago at a pretty meager (for my profession) salary of @$38K.  Contributed up to the matching amount to my 401k right away (6%), then upped that contribution steadily as I climbed the income ladder, eventually to @$140K.  Hit the annual contribution max about 10 years ago.  Barring any major market setbacks, I should comfortably hit the $800K mark in 5 years (max + match + catch up contributions = @$30k/year being invested).

If I'd stuck to the original plan to retire in 12 more years, I'd easily hit the million-plus mark (again, barring another 1929 or 2008), but I no longer wish to stay in the work force long enough to make that happen. Though because I plan to withdraw less than 2% annually from my account for the first 7 or so years I'm FIRE'd, there is a good chance I will hit the million-plus mark in retirement.

I can't say I've been very frugal or stayed clear of debt, or was Mustachian all along, but I did learn valuable lessons early in my career about spending more than I earned when I racked up some credit card debt.  Also had (have) student loan debt, and a fairly significant mortgage.  But after taking a stand years ago and dumping the credit card debt, the other debts have been managable and reasonable, and I've managed to have a high savings rate simultaneously (@46%). For sure if I'd learned the way of MMM many years ago, I'd have re-thought even those debts and might even be free and clear of them today.  As it is, I'm on pace to vanquish the student loan debt by the end of this year ($23K left).  The mortgage is what it is, but we fortunately live in a very desirable, high-demand area, so the equity we are building should be lasting.

Lots of great inspiration in this thread -- that I wish I'd had 16 years ago!
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: NinetyFour on April 15, 2014, 01:48:26 PM
I became a millionaire last year.

Ha!  Kidding!  I just wanted to see what I would feel like to say that.

Fortunately, I will need less than half of that to be FI.  And I hope to reach that within the next 6 years.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: nicknageli on April 15, 2014, 03:24:31 PM
This may be a bit premature, but I expect to reach $1M in the next 4 months (Age 27).

Big ol' (http://www.vwvortex.com/Anthony/Smilies/thumbup.gif)
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Bateaux on April 17, 2014, 03:43:03 PM
Reaching one million was always an interim goal.  It took almost 20 years.  Lots of unexpected road blocks including health issues and recessions.  Now we are moving beyound the 1M mark and should reach 2 M in a few years.  Somewhere between 2M and 3M I will start to feel comfortable. There is no way I could sleep at night retired with only 1M.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: RootofGood on April 17, 2014, 04:41:03 PM
Early 2013.  Age 32.

Consistently saving 50%+ each year.  Low cost globally diversified index funds.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: brewer12345 on April 17, 2014, 05:23:00 PM
Uh, probably about age 33.  Its a little fuzzy because I always considered the equity in our home to be wildly overstated so I did not pay much attention.  Nothing fancy for us.  We always saved til it hurt, maxed out 401ks, etc.  Managed a 6 figure household income since about age 27.  Of course during the crash our net worth was well under 1MM again (I think the portfolio bottomed at $4XXk).  Now retired at age 40 with a 1.5MM portfolio, although DW still pursues her small business part time.  Our investments have always been public securities (stocks and bonds), no real estate or wacky stuff.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: RootofGood on April 17, 2014, 07:19:11 PM
Our investments have always been public securities (stocks and bonds), no real estate or wacky stuff.

I heard you were doing some iron condors on beaver cheese futures.  Rumor has it anyway.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: brewer12345 on April 17, 2014, 07:21:33 PM
Our investments have always been public securities (stocks and bonds), no real estate or wacky stuff.

I heard you were doing some iron condors on beaver cheese futures.  Rumor has it anyway.

In Venezuela beaver cheese futures are public securities.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: CJMcF on April 18, 2014, 03:57:40 AM
Love this thread - thanks for everyone's stories - so interesting to hear. I work in UK pounds and hit 1m when I was 43 - just through saving and working hard - no big ups or downs - but I hope to hit 2m by the end of this year with a bit of luck - when I will be 49. I'm very lucky - I like my job and am a part owner of a consulting practice so am starting to think what I want to do in the future - I want to be able to enjoy myself and be totally free from work while I am still young enough and healthy enough to fully enjoy it.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: SAHD on April 18, 2014, 10:13:40 PM
Reaching one million was always an interim goal.  It took almost 20 years.  Lots of unexpected road blocks including health issues and recessions.  Now we are moving beyound the 1M mark and should reach 2 M in a few years.  Somewhere between 2M and 3M I will start to feel comfortable. There is no way I could sleep at night retired with only 1M.
I reached 1m at the age of 42 now worth 2.5 at 48 (I have no debt except for my 2 rental properties).  I totally agree with the quote. I can not sleep well at night with only 1-2m in net worth, I still believe I am poor and need to scrimp and save at every opportunity.  This is one of the "bad" side effects of the MMM lifestyle , constantly looking how to save every penny make me feel poor.  Of course this is just my personality and not how everyone feels. 
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: JT on April 19, 2014, 04:27:34 AM
Can't say reaching $1m was ever a goal of mine (grew up poor but happy and the millionaire psyche just wasn't there!!!)... so I'm delighted with my current NW of $829,000!  Will have to find a FIRE calculator...

The biggest thing that changed my non millionaire psyche was a divorce when I was a stay at home Mum and suddenly had no income and no current work history!! 

It scared the bejesus out of me but I educated myself (still educating myself), got a job, shrunk the expenses and saved, saved, saved.  The car stays in the shed, the push bike got a dusting.  My work is only 6km away.  My son's school is 700m away.

NW is made up of superannuation, property and savings. But it's the property that's caused my NW to increase.

Fortunately, I am still not feeling financially safe ....



Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Unique User on April 23, 2014, 01:49:43 PM
Interesting to see so many in their 30s!  We were close in 2007, but then DH really wanted to buy a couple rental properties, we were unemployed for a couple years and the market (both stock and real estate) tanked.  We have recovered and should hit there next year or 2016 at latest, I'm 44.  We don't have a retirement plan other than the day the last college tuition bill is paid or funded.  She is only a 7th grader, so we'll reevaluate her senior year when we see what college costs will look like. 
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: DollarBill on April 23, 2014, 06:06:00 PM
When I retire from the Military I'll get about $2100 a month ($25K a yr). So if I compare this amount to others living off their stash @ 4%. Would that mean I have $630,000?? ($630K X .04 = $25K) So now I just need to come up with $370K to qualify as a millionaire...right? :)   
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: skyrefuge on April 23, 2014, 06:29:21 PM
July 2013, age 36.

15 years of work as a semiconductor engineer with a ~70% savings rate investing in index funds. Pretty much the same story as MMM, without the wife and the house-building adventures. I posted a more detailed version that happens to exactly answer this question (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/well-damn-i%27m-a-millionaire/) at the time, so I won't repeat it all here.

I will note that 9 months later, I'm something like a $1.14 millionaire. It's funny how that 0.14 feels like not much more ("eh, it pretty much still rounds to a million"), but that tiny fraction actually represents one hundred and forty fucking thousand dollars in the last 9 months. Yay, compounding!
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: DoubleDown on April 23, 2014, 06:54:48 PM
When I retire from the Military I'll get about $2100 a month ($25K a yr). So if I compare this amount to others living off their stash @ 4%. Would that mean I have $630,000?? ($630K X .04 = $25K) So now I just need to come up with $370K to qualify as a millionaire...right? :)

Well I guess that's one way of looking at it! I'm not sure they really equate (and I realize you have your tongue planted in cheek), but no doubt that pension should make a huge difference in being FI. And honestly, in some ways I think that pension is more valuable. Sure, $1 million gives you lots of leverage to do things, but with the pension you never have to engage in all the hand wringing here over your 4% vs. 3.572% SWR, or the proper asset allocation and if you have too much risk in stocks, and how well your portfolio will survive certain market conditions or inflation, and on and on. Those checks just keep coming forever!
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: MMMdude on April 23, 2014, 08:22:21 PM
If we are talking networth, then I reached that milestone approximately September of last  year at age of 38.  Paid off house worth about 400k and then rest in liquid assets.  Liquid stuff has grown nicely to about 700K as of today due to pretty good market returns in Canada over that timeframe.  Hope to hit $1Mil liquid by December 2016 as increasing networth approx 10k a month at this point!

As for how.  I make a decent but not extravagant salary and live on less than 20k per year due to the fact that i paid off mortgage about five years ago.  Got rid of that millstone as fast as i could
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: MrsPete on April 24, 2014, 11:09:09 AM
When?  Depends upon how you're looking at it:  If you mean total net worth, including the house and other assets, the answer is young -- younger than I would've ever expected.  If you mean actual cash and financial investments and excluding money that's set aside for the kids' education that we don't consider "ours", past 40 . . . but still younger than I ever would've believed possible. 

How?  The old fashioned way:  Living on less than we earned -- good, old fashioned frugality.  Hard work.  And some luck too:  We've both been fortunate never to experience unemployment, our children were born healthy, and our medical bills have all been moderate. 
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Numbers on April 24, 2014, 11:34:29 AM
Interesting thread for me right now as I approach the number.... Sort of: I'll show you mine if you show me yours :)

The basic answers for us are: Any week/month now to hit $1M NW at age 44 for me, 38 for wife. (We've been a couple for 10 years, married for 8 with one son, still in the expensive preschool years).

My story is not too straight of a line; spending most of my 20's doing 'interesting things' that didn't pay much (or that even required loans :), though I've always been a saver at heart. What interesting things? Oh, full time alpine ski racing coach in S. Lake Tahoe, on the organizing committee/staff for the Atlanta Olympics, going back to school full time for an MBA... Once I did finally settle into my now career portion of life (just as I hit age 28), I started out at $48K. Eventually jumping that number over the six figure barrier a few years ago, but also including 2 layoffs from being downsized out of both the tech bubble and real estate bubble. Wife never made all that much (~$28-35K) until a few years ago and now her career has taken off in many ways, including financially, as she has now roughly tripled her income from when we met. 

Also a 'lost decade' in the stock market just as I started my investing for FI. I bought plenty of shares over the years that have finally blossomed during the recent upturn in the markets. Plus a now paid off condo where I/we lived for 11 years, that is now a rental property. And also some small equity in our 2.5 year old house (with cheap rates and RE prices only looking like upward growth, I only put 5% down on the place and kept my taxable accounts going strong).

In time:
1998, 28 yrs old, -$10K in NW ($15K in student loans)
2000, 30 yrs old, $35K NW (down to $5K in student loans)
2002, 32 yrs old, $85K NW (had bought the condo, no more student loans)
2004, 34 yrs old, $175K NW
2007, 37 yrs old, $315K NW (Somewhere in here I married into about -$15K of NW from my wife, plus we paid for her masters degree)
2010, 40 Yrs old, $485K NW (Expensive NICU stay for Jr birth in here, condo paid off about here as well)
2012, 42 Yrs old, $725K NW (house purchase in late '11)
2014 (as of Mar 31), 44 yrs old, $970K NW

So it turns out that you can 'waste' much of your 20's (FI wise), marry into negative NW, invest during a horrible 10 year stretch of the markets, get laid off twice, have a very expensive medical bill and deal with other of life's bobbles and still hit ~$1M by mid-forties if you work really hard at your career (aka improve income opportunities) and save, save, save the whole time...

Rough numbers today:
$550K Retirement Accounts
$190K Taxable Accounts
$230K total RE Equity
I don't count cars or other 'stuff' as financial assets for NW, otherwise I could probably claim $1M today.

I'll probably work a good 7 or so more years to pay off the house and build up plenty of cushion. I've seen some of life's detours already and want to feel secure. Then do PT work to stay busy, but not too busy.

Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Freedom2016 on April 24, 2014, 12:54:09 PM
We're not at $1m yet but it is possible that we'll reach it by the end of this year due to windfall earnings for my business this year. Here's what I posted in the Celebrations thread a few days ago:

Date                Net Worth
12/31/10         $142,963
12/31/11         $210,200
12/31/12         $240,656
06/30/13         $240,656
04/19/14         $579,639

I'm 40, DH is 42. We both spent many years (before we met) doing non-lucrative things - I worked for a non-profit for several years, then went to grad school FT; hubby was a professional musician for 4+ years. Combine that with not watching our finances very closely, and voila - although we weren't tracking it, our net worth was either negative or just not growing much for a number of years. I had CC debt and undergrad student loan debt for a few of those years, though I did knock those out along the way (and swore never to carry CC debt again). Of course I also took on more loans for my grad school education. :\

In 2005, I joined my current company and started being more deliberate about saving. That was really good, because I became a partner in 2008 (i.e. came off of payroll and onto an "eat what you kill" compensation model), just in time for the crash to wipe out much of our client work in 2009. I effectively lived off of my savings for a year, until business started coming back. So- yay for the savings I did before that, because it allowed me to stay out of debt when my income tanked.

Fast forward to 2010, when we (1) bought a house and (2) I got cancer and had to cut back on work for a few months. Our liquid savings took a dive, and income dipped. But my health returned in 2011 and I had a banner year at work, so by the end of 2011 NW had increased by almost $70k.

In 2012 we had a baby, and I took 4 months (unpaid) off of work to care for the wee one. Still, we were able to increase NW by $30k that year, though you can see NW was flat by mid-2013 - I hadn't ramped up to prior income levels and we had some new baby expenses (ie daycare) to take into account. In 2013 my financial tracking went off the rails for a few months (didn't keep up in Quicken) so I don't have an end-year 2013 NW calculation, but you can see that we've had a huge spike in 2014 - our NW is about 2.4 times what it was in June '13. And it's possible that we'll exceed $1m NW by the end of this year - all while I am the solo income provider and DH is a stay-at-home dad.

Sometimes I want to attribute my windfall client earnings to luck, but colleagues and friends would say I am selling myself short - or even sabotaging my ability to repeat this kind of financial success with other clients. In truth, I have been working in my industry for almost 20 years and by now I have amassed a lot of experience - and credibility - for which clients are willing to pay a handsome sum. If I can parlay this into another couple of years of similar earnings, we would be FI within the next year or two.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: sleepyguy on April 24, 2014, 01:46:13 PM
at 35 we're pretty close to NW of $1Mil currently.

How did we do it?

Nothing too exciting.  We own an Investment condo and rent out part of our house.  Our combined income over the past few years has been about 200k, although only about the last 1.5-2yrs I've been on-board with FIRE.

A big part though is neither of us have any student loans so we got a clean slate starting out.  Hers was more difficult, she worked while going to University and graduated with zero debt.  I took the easy road and didn't bother with university :)

Not exactly sure when our "number" is... probably NW $2mil or something.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Katnina on April 24, 2014, 01:52:22 PM
I got to 1M at age 29 or 30.  I worked in finance (high salary + bonuses) and lived a spartan life.  It helped that I worked so much, I never had time to spend my money!
I focused on pre-paying my mortgage and saving as much as possible, while still donating a decent amount of money to my favorite charities every year.  I maxed my 401(k) contributions every year (and got 100% matches for 5 years at one company), and my apartment appreciated from $220k when I bought it, to ~$400k now.

I'm now 33 and married, and we are at approx 1.5M net worth.  My husband had slightly negative equity when we married (underwater mortgage on a house + student loans as liabilities, about 100k in 401(k) as asset) and we are aggressively paying down his mortgage (the house is a rental now), and will tackle the student loans once the mortgage is done (84k to go on the mortgage).  I'm retired (working part time for fun) and he is still working full-time.  He could retire now, but wants us to get to $2M NW before he quits.

Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Nords on April 26, 2014, 10:02:02 PM
When I retire from the Military I'll get about $2100 a month ($25K a yr). So if I compare this amount to others living off their stash @ 4%. Would that mean I have $630,000?? ($630K X .04 = $25K) So now I just need to come up with $370K to qualify as a millionaire...right? :)

Well I guess that's one way of looking at it! I'm not sure they really equate (and I realize you have your tongue planted in cheek), but no doubt that pension should make a huge difference in being FI. And honestly, in some ways I think that pension is more valuable. Sure, $1 million gives you lots of leverage to do things, but with the pension you never have to engage in all the hand wringing here over your 4% vs. 3.572% SWR, or the proper asset allocation and if you have too much risk in stocks, and how well your portfolio will survive certain market conditions or inflation, and on and on. Those checks just keep coming forever!
Bill, another way to look at it is how much you'd have to own in I bonds to generate $2100/month-- because you're getting an inflation-adjusted annuity. 

The interest rate for the next four days is 1.38% (http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/ibonds/res_ibonds_iratesandterms.htm) so you're already over $1.8M.  Overkill!

Of course this is also a classic example of why early retirees need to have a high percentage of their portfolio in stocks.  And if you're eligible for that pension then you'd need to consider the same asset-allocation issue when you approach that first pension deposit.
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: Falcon on April 28, 2014, 01:19:46 AM
Very interesting reading and I love hearing the themes that resonate in my journey.
1997 NW $32k in Super and $5,000 proceeds from the sale of our house.
2013 NW $304k in Super, $375k in bank, PPR $375k (paid off) and equity of $150k in 2 investment properties. I also feel uneasy that this is not enough and watch the pennies closely. 
Real estate growth and saving via extra payments to the Super (read 401k) have been the key. Could have been a lot better if not for the GFC and had I moved earlier into real estate investments.

I am looking toward the next goal of $1mill in liquid assets and plan to achieve this in 7 years
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: DollarBill on April 28, 2014, 07:44:43 PM
Quote
so you're already over $1.8M

Sweet, so now I'm a double Millionaire...Nice!!!
Title: Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
Post by: DollarBill on April 28, 2014, 07:51:04 PM
When I retire from the Military I'll get about $2100 a month ($25K a yr). So if I compare this amount to others living off their stash @ 4%. Would that mean I have $630,000?? ($630K X .04 = $25K) So now I just need to come up with $370K to qualify as a millionaire...right? :)

Well I guess that's one way of looking at it! I'm not sure they really equate (and I realize you have your tongue planted in cheek), but no doubt that pension should make a huge difference in being FI. And honestly, in some ways I think that pension is more valuable. Sure, $1 million gives you lots of leverage to do things, but with the pension you never have to engage in all the hand wringing here over your 4% vs. 3.572% SWR, or the proper asset allocation and if you have too much risk in stocks, and how well your portfolio will survive certain market conditions or inflation, and on and on. Those checks just keep coming forever!

I agree it will let me sleep well at night...I guess for all those sleepless nights...lol.