Want $870,000? – yes, nearly everyone can save, you betcha‼️

Want $870,000? Richard Quinn 

SENTENCES THAT begin with “I can’t” drive me nuts—and I especially dislike the sentence, “I can’t save.” “Pish-tosh,” I say.  Every household in America earning at least the median income can save for the future. If they try hard, many lower-income Americans could also save.

Of course, the amount saved will vary, but even small amounts can help over the long haul. If a household earning $40,000 a year can sock away enough to generate $300 or $400 in monthly retirement income to supplement whatever they get from Social Security, that’s significant. Saving early and regularly quickly makes life far less financially stressful.

How can I be so confident that most Americans have the ability to save? Look around at the many nonessential businesses—including entertainment companies—that are sustained by the spending of the average American.

I don’t advocate living like a hermit. But a touch of frugality and a sense of spending priorities wouldn’t go awry. Last year, I wrote about the ways many people waste money. Earlier this year, I suggested “financial fasting” as a way to accumulate funds to start investing. But enough of theory.

Let’s look at some numbers. For the 10 examples below, I assume a 40-year saving period, with those savings earning a 5% annual return.

1. The pause that refreshes. It amazes me how much soda makes its way into shopping carts. Americans consume 39 gallons of soda per person per year. Who needs all of that? Where I live, a case of 12-ounce cans is about $25. Skip one case a month and you can accumulate $38,000 in 40 years.

2. Light up (or not). Yes, smoking is down. But there are still 34 million smokers and they spend an average $6.28 a pack. Eliminating one pack a day will get you $291,000 after 40 years. Do that in New York City, where cigarettes are even more expensive, and you’ll be in a penthouse in Palm Beach at age 65.

3. Your turn. Video games are big business. Americans spend about $43 billion a year on games. The average player is in his or her mid-30s. Assume a player skips buying just two new high-end games each year. That will net about $11,000 for retirement.

4. Ink. A skilled tattoo artist earns around $200 an hour. The cost of a tattoo ranges from $30 to thousands. About a third of Americans, most of them under age 55, have at least one tattoo. Those with a tattoo typically have more than one. Let’s assume a onetime total tattoo cost of $500. Skip that and you’ll add $3,500 to your pot of gold.

5. Fluffy or Fido. Nobody is giving up his or her fur baby to save money. But if you aren’t already supporting that dependent to the tune of $1,000 a year, avoiding the expense could get you $127,000 for retirement.

BE SURE TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY AT THE LINK BELOW … and join the conversation as well.

Source: Want $870,000? – HumbleDollar


  1. Totally agree that everybody can save something. Maybe not for a complete retirement but for at least an emergency fund. As proof, I offer an article on Yahoo Finance today. A report from Ellen Zentner, a Morgan Stanley economist, said that Americans saved $12.5-trillion from April to July 2020 during the pandemic ACROSS THE INCOME SPECTRUM. That was TRILLION dollars.
    In my opinion this once again proves that people do not have an income problem but a spending problem. If they can’t spend the money due to force shutdowns, they can’t waste their money. So it stayed in their bank accounts.
    But I have faith that they can spend that money down and restart the economy without a second thought of saving for their own future.


  2. In retirement I am able to save, because I have zero credit card debt. I never spent money on any of the things listed above, except soda and I did not buy it by the can. I purchased the Walmart store brand for 86 cents per 2 litre. Now I almost never have soda unless it is included with the value meal during the rare time my wife and I eat out. I never made more than $35,000 per year from 1971 to 2009, many years a whole lot less. I started working for $1.85 per hour in 1971 and made $17 per hour when I quit working in 2009. Now with just $37,104 in total retirement income I am able to save $800 from my monthly income, even with a $351 per month lease on a 2020 Ford Edge. At age 64 I am just tired of working on cars. How did I live on such low income all those years, while raising 4 children?, Military retirement income since 1995, No car payments from 1986 to 2020, always saving cash to purchase used cars and fixing them when they needed repairs. No cable TV or cell phone, One time in the 1990s I did not even have a home phone for over 2 years. If my kids wanted video games, they had to earn money to pay for them. None of my 4 kids learned to drive until they left home. I could not afford the car insurance and with only one car what was the point. Of course, now I live in the low cost of living state of Montana, we do not have a sales tax, I pay zero federal income tax and only $130 in state income tax and $200 in property tax per year on my 1983 mobile home. I do not understand why people pay for a cell phone, I received a free $600 cell phone and a $150 AT&T debit card for signing up for a 30 month contract with unlimited talk, text and data for $69 per month. I am currently looking for a house in TX for a winter home, $80,000 to 125,000 is possible, because I love the Montana summers, I will only live in Montana 6 months of the year, once I have a place in TX. Why TX – No State income tax, I just do not want the hassle of having to file and TX does not tax food when you buy it at the grocery store, like many states do.. Family in TX, OK and a central location to travel to see family and friends in CA, NV, VA, NC, AL, GA, FL. during the off season when costs are lower to travel. Living better in retirement than I ever have during my working years. I now have a $10,000 emergency fund, a first for me.


    1. Been maxing the Roth for myself and my wife most years, putting 15 percent into the 401K equivalent, and I expect a decent Army pension. Thinking hard about where to settle in retirement. Not driving new cars or living high on the hog but I worry about Social Security not being there, and inflation. $1M is not enough nest egg anymore–as Mr. Quinn has implied elsewhere on this page.


  3. I totally agree, Mr. Quinn, and I / we did it all except that my wife liked border collies. I have never understood people disfiguring themselves with tattoos? There is nothing like a minor CVA to cure the nicotine habit! Not so sure bout the 5% annual return these days? Good article.


    1. Thanks, that 5% is very possible. In the last year even with the market gyrations my total return as of yesterday was 5.65% and it was nearly 8% before the last month or so.


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