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10 Ways To Become a Millionaire by Age 30

10 Ways To Become a Millionaire by Age 30

It may seem like an impossible goal to be a millionaire at any stage of your life. However, that isn’t true. The earlier you start making smart financial decisions, the more likely you are destined to being a part of the millionaires club later in life. However, we are in an age where simply storing money away doesn’t garner more in the future. You have to employ a combination of methods that not only set aside money you contribute, but also compounds it with interest. Today, we will talk about ten ways you can grow your net worth for a more stable future.

If you’re born poor, it’s not your mistake. But if you die poor, it is your mistake.”

– Bill Gates

Increase Your Income

The first step to becoming a millionaire is having the capital to fund your investments that will compound your money. To get this money, legally, you’ll need a stable job. You should work to always make yourself marketable as a way of not only maintaining your current job, but moving up the ladder to a better position or company. If you are in the technology sector, consider to stay on top of tech news and improvements. Even if you are outside of the tech industry, learning a few technical skills can improve your income. Always focus on increasing your income, even if you are currently comfortable.

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Live Frugally

You may feel that individuals who are millionaires are the ones who drive flashy cars and own the latest gadgets. That isn’t true in most cases, and shouldn’t be in your case if you are looking to work your way to millionaire status. To maintain your income’s growth, this is the time when you have to seek out the clearance rack or sales. Never accept retail price, it simply isn’t worth it. This is the case in grocery stores, shopping malls, the internet, or even club/gym memberships.

Plan to Invest

You may feel that your piggy bank of savings is smart saving. However, it truly isn’t. All you are doing is have your money sit there unproductively. It isn’t gaining interest. This is the case even for many standard savings accounts. Simply having a savings account isn’t enough, but it is a good start.

When saving it is important to remember to save to invest, not save to save. Look into ways in which you can get started creating a portfolio of investments for yourself. Etrade is a great start that is easy to navigate. Acorns is also an up-and-coming option that makes diversified investing more approachable for the common individual.

Shed Unproductive Debt

There is no such thing as good debt. Even “good debt” as some coin it is still money that you don’t have easy access to and doesn’t have the 100% guarantee is materializing into a profit later on (a house, for example). However, there are examples of productive and unproductive debt as I will coin it. Productive debt can be a credit card. Yes, every time you swipe a credit card, you are creating debt because it doesn’t get paid off until you pay your statement.

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However, if you spend within your means or only on certain expenses, many credit cards come with reward dollars or cash-back. This is the credit card (one, not multiple), that you should seek. It’s technically free money ($6 back on $200 of groceries, for example). These reward and cash-back dollars add up and can result in savings. Below is a list of three great cash-back credit cards:

Manage Your Money

The only way to grow your money is to know where it all is and where it’s going out. Download the Mint application for your smartphone. This will allow you to stay on top of your (almost) total net worth from your bank accounts, credit cards, and investments. While not all financial services and institutions are supported yet, it gives you a detailed look at the financial aspects of your daily life. Set up isn’t very lengthy and once set up, it updates automatically whenever you open the application. Having a holistic look at your finances makes savings easier and even offers an incentive to save.

Follow the 50/20/30 Budget

Once you get your pay check, every cent of your money should be earmarked or you’ll find yourself spending like crazy. You may feel it’s daunting to have to spend every cent of your pay check each month. However, to spend in this case isn’t to hit the stores. Instead, allocating is a better term. With the 50/20/30 budget created by Elizabeth Warren, 50 percent of your income goes to the essentials (groceries, rent, essential utilities), 20 percent goes to savings (savings account, portfolio additions, Roth IRA contributions etc), and the remaining 30 percent goes to what is considered “lifestyle choices). This includes restaurants, your cell phone, clothing, etc. Below, we have an example for a individual earning $51,000 a year:

Base Salary – $51,000

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After Taxes (25%) – $38,250

  • Essentials (50%) – $1593.75/month
    • Utilities – $80
    • Groceries – $250
    • Gas – $80
    • Rent – $1000
  • Savings (20%) – $637.50/month
  • Savings Account – $300
  • Loan Repayments – $200
  • IRA/Portfolio Fund – $100
  • Discretionary Spending (30%) – $956.25/month

Grab the Free Money

It is amazing how much free money is ignored by individuals. One of the most common ignored sources of free money are programs offered through your employer. Some can be in the form of student loan payment assistance. For other employers, there is the option of a 401K contribution match.

For example, if you contribute X amount each month, your employer will match the contribution either by 100 percent or even at least 50 percent. While usually to a certain limit, around $6000, that’s six thousand dollars you didn’t have before and wouldn’t have had if you didn’t ask. Make sure you stay informed on these options, not just before getting hired, but also periodically. Many times, such programs can be added later on.

Keep Accounts Manageable

As we mentioned before, managing your accounts through services like Mint is smart. However, having a ton of multiple accounts and cards can not only be confusing, it could hinder you from becoming a millionaire sooner. While diversifying income streams is great, outgoing streams should be kept as simple as possible. Multiple credit cards can mean having to keep up with multiple due dates, and in many cases, multiple credit pulls. Along with possible monthly or yearly fees, these multiple outgoing streams can even encourage you to spend more than you intend.

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Save for the Right Reasons

Just as we mentioned before, to save for investments, it is also important to ensure that you saving in multiple departments with a goal in mind. While you savings and investment accounts are multiplying with the goal of becoming a millionaire by 30, you day-to-day savings should have a reason as well. You may remember the multiple times you encounter a sell on shoes and because it is 25 percent off last week’s price, you feel that you are making a good economic decision by buying this sale item.

Not exactly! Those shoes aren’t something you necessarily need, and the $X you spend on your shoes is still an outgoing expense that could be saved or utilized elsewhere. While enjoying that 30 percent of your 50/20/30 budget is important, it’s still important to bargain hunt with a purpose. Gain satisfaction through the deals you gain on bills, groceries, and household necessities, not clothing or other expenses that wouldn’t have been in your scope of attention before the sale appeared.

Be Committed

In the end, you have to be committed to this goal. It is a long-term goal that will continue to go on well after you make your first $1 Million. It’s important to not live with the hope of dying with $1 Million net worth, but to have a $10 Million or even $15 Million net worth.

Aiming high ($10 Million) makes still exceptional goals ($1 Million) more possible. Having an individual (a family member or friend) who you can attest is doing well financially can be a great way to ensure you are on the right track. Everything they say can’t be taken word-for-word, everyone’s economic situation is subjective. But having them as a role model will ensure that you aren’t in this alone.

Let us know in the comments below which way to $1,000,000 by 30 is easy for you to take on today.

Featured photo credit: Wallpapers AX via wallpapersax.com

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Published on May 7, 2019

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • Will you spend more time with your family?
  • What does retirement mean to you?
  • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

2. Figure out When to Invest

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

Why?

Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

  1. Vanguard
  2. TD Ameritrade
  3. Charles Schwab

5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

Robo Advisors

Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

Bonds

Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

  1. Treasury bonds
  2. Government bonds
  3. Corporate bonds
  4. Foreign bonds
  5. Mortgage-backed bonds
  6. Municipal bonds

Mutual Funds

Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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Real Estate

Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

Savings Accounts

Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

So how can you master delayed gratification?

By building your discipline.

Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

But, how can you invest yourself?

Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

Retire Happy with Excess Money

The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

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