Author Topic: Journey from $500k to 1 Million  (Read 1377 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Journey from $500k to 1 Million
« on: April 20, 2021, 01:51:46 PM »
Earlier this month I passed the $500k in assets milestone and have been pleasantly surprised by how
much faster each additional $100k comes compared to the first.
I am curious to hear what folks journey from half a million to 1 million was like- did it fly by? Did anything slow it down? Did home ownership negatively/positively impact the speed? Any increase  in peace/satisfaction along the way?
I started from scratch out of college in 2013 and really didn't start getting more serious with earning and investing until mid 2015.

Along the way I:
Paid off my student loans, rented in a few HCOL cities, enjoyed some modest but great vacations, had a few feel good purchases, and really enjoyed the experience/mindset of being a saver/investor.
I am now about to buy my first home in a much more affordable city and am curious to see what this path to 1 million looks like.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Journey from $500k to 1 Million
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2021, 06:23:07 PM »
Great work and congrats on hitting 500k milestone!

I graduated college in 2009 so you've got a leg up on me.  I hit 500K in Nov and just hit 750k last week.  It does feel like it's flying by and that 1mil is just around the corner, and that will be a big psychological boost.

Initially, home ownership hurt our net worth, due to all the unexpected initial expenses.  However, within 6-12 months it became a net positive due to rapid appreciation.  I hadn't considered home appreciation in our original net worth projections.  I'm not sure if home ownership has had an effect on reaching FIRE targets.  On one hand, a paid off home gives a sense of security and reduce FIRE expenses (and we do plan to pay off prior to FIRE, despite the math that would suggest otherwise), but on the other hand it might have reduced our invested stash.  I suspect in the end it will be net positive, and has definitely improved quality of life.


  • Bristles
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Re: Journey from $500k to 1 Million
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2021, 07:05:00 PM »
It has sped up aggressively for myself.

There is a thread here that people are all tracking this exact range monthly if you're interested in reading a bunch of monthly cost posts:!/


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Journey from $500k to 1 Million
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2021, 07:12:00 PM »
Congrats on the $500k! I have found each milestone to come faster and faster. That largely depends on ones income, savings, and especially, the stock market. I graduated high school in 2006 and have an associates degree. Below has been my milestone progression for net worth. Liquid only - savings/investments.

I don’t own a home, but if I did, I likely wouldn’t consider any of it for or against my net worth. At the VERY most I’d only consider the portion towards my net worth of my equity. I certainly wouldn’t consider it’s “appraised value” if I had no intention of selling it/downsizing. Just like I don’t consider my expensive paid off vehicles/toys as part of my net worth.

I will say that the biggest perk of the net worth growth is how I have used it to leverage my career into raises and higher paying jobs. Having “FU” money and constantly working as a contractor (and renting so I’m mobile) allows SO MUCH career freedom and growth. I’m not “job scared” to ask for raises or make tough/controversial decisions at work. Being able to play hardball has actually resulted in more of a positive reputation. So many people are scared to lose their jobs or do anything wrong that they simply don’t make hard choices, or even hardly do any work.

I never talk my pay with anyone at work. EVER.. I had a colleague come in my office the other day working on a promotion and talking to me about negotiating it, and I was giving him a lot of tips I’ve been through (gentleman is about 15 years older than me). He was talking numbers and mentioned his current pay ($55/hr - which is low for what he’s doing in my opinion). And the new position and responsibility, he’s looking for $80/hr (pretty reasonable given the new position). They turned him down and told him that, “no one on the project is making $80/hr.”

While I am in a higher up position.... I’m making $120/hr with overtime after 40 (I work 50-55 hrs/wk) and everyone else only gets OT after 45 hours.. Most others are also capped at 45 hour weeks

For my current job I negotiated HARD and for over a month after they offered me the job before we settled on pay. I interviewed against 5-6 other people, most of them twice my age with 3x the experience.. Gentlemen with PHD’s in my field, and all I have is an associates. I know this because after I was hired, I interviewed several of the same people for an engineering position I was hiring for - so I saw my competition up front..

With the above in mind, again, the FU money gave me that AND I have used it non-stop to leverage my career.

I worked one job a few years ago where I was the only one in management working 50 hrs/wk. Everyone else worked 40 hrs.. It was kind of hard to hide that and one guy was bitching one night cause i was on the better shift (weekdays vs weekends) AND I was the only one getting OT... I told him straight up that his problem was that he accepted it. I told the project that I wouldn’t work 40 hr weeks and I wouldn’t work weekends... Take it or leave it.. No my problem he accepted it. If they would’ve offered that to me, I wouldn’t be there working.

Apr 1, 2016 - $100k (crossed $100k)
(Took 8 months of sabbatical in 2017)
May 1, 2018 - $251,725 (crossed $250k)
Nov 1, 2019 - $501,937 (crossed $500k)
Dec 1, 2020 - $782,831 (crossed 750k)
April 20, 2021 - $935,401
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 07:17:20 PM by use2betrix »


  • Stubble
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Re: Journey from $500k to 1 Million
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2021, 08:54:41 PM »
Congrats on that great milestone! I think 500k or so is the point where you really start to see the snowball effect of your investments and stock market gains. I bet 500k to 1M will feel a lot easier to you than 0 to 500.

We topped 1M the last time I tallied our NW (end of 2020). We're around a 90/10 AA so we were propelled over 1M by the absolute rocket ship that has been the stock market over the last few years. It's a great feeling to see the market doing so much work for you (although I know there's a flipside to that...)

We did buy a house between 500k and 1M. Our house has appreciated at about the same rate as the S&P 500 since we bought. It may have slowed down our overall accumulation slightly with upfront costs, but for quality of life it's been a big upgrade.

As far as peace/satisfaction, I feel more at ease in my job at this point than I did a few years ago. I don't have total FU money, but I feel a decent amount of security knowing we could get by for quite some time if anything happened to my job. Given that, I think I've gotten better at not sweating the small stuff at work as much.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Journey from $500k to 1 Million
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2021, 06:09:16 AM »
Checking my investments + cash nw (excluding home value), I was at around 500k in September of 2018, and I'm only 5k short of 1 million as of this month.  So that only took about 2.5 years.  It took much longer to get to 500k.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Journey from $500k to 1 Million
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2021, 08:13:52 AM »

$0 -> $500k took us ~5 years
$500k -> $1M took us ~3 years


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Journey from $500k to 1 Million
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2021, 08:51:33 AM »
I enjoyed crossing the $1 million mark so much, I did it a couple times. I first crossed it right before the 2008 financial crisis. I was not invested very aggressively, I think it was around 60/40 asset allocation, but I still took a pretty significant hit.  But I was able to stay employed and a few years later I crossed the million dollar mark again. I retired shortly thereafter.