BOSTON (CBS) – So how does a thirty-year-old become a millionaire? With some discipline I think you can do it.

Everyone should learn about saving for retirement and the miracle of compounding when they start their first job.

But it is the rare employee that gets that advice. So let’s say you’re now thirty-something and you looked at your net worth and said “Oops, I haven’t got anything saved for retirement.”

If you are able to start at age 30 and save $2,000 a year and if we assume you will earn an 8% average return, your nest egg could have over $400,000 in it at age 67. To reach that million dollar amount you have to save more than the twenty-something. You will need to contribute at least $5,000 annually to your retirement plan to achieve the million dollars or about $185,000 over your working career.

You still have the luxury of 30 years or more to accumulate assets for retirement. Contribute as much as you can to your employer’s retirement plan and be sure though you are contributing enough to take advantage of your employer’s match.

During this third decade of life people are looking to achieve the American Dream, a house with a two-car garage, a picket fence and kids. Getting out of debt is critical here if you want to achieve your goals and dreams. Too much debt will prevent you from getting the best rates on a mortgage or sometimes prevent you from getting the mortgage altogether.

Raising a family, having a mortgage, paying off school loans, saving for the kid’s education are just a few of the things that will compete for your limited dollars during this decade.

A poor credit score can affect your goals by slowing down your ability to achieve the American dream. Not only creditors look at your credit score and history, but potential employers, insurance companies and landlords may be looking at those reports. So using credit wisely is crucial during this decade.

Many credit card companies are now including your credit score with your monthly statement. You can also check with the Discover card to a free credit score even if you do not have a Discover card.

One more thing:

What does it take to be a Millionaire?

Here is a fun chart to see just where you are at with your own retirement planning. The younger you are when you start the less you will need to save!


Future value            $1,000,000

Retirement age        67

Annual return %      8



Time                  Monthly          Yearly

Age                 Investment      Investment      Investment

————    ————         ————         ————

20                    $26,859           $161                 $2,208

25                    39,464               243                  3,287

30                    57,986               368                   4,924

35                    85,200               564                  7,451

40                    125,187             876                 11,448

45                    183,941           1,395                 18,032

50                    270,269           2,316                 29,629

55                    397,114           4,158                 52,695

60                    583,490           8,920               112,072

65                    857,339


You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee’s Money Matters newsletter here.


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