Want to Become a 401(K) Millionaire? More and More People Are Doing It.

401(K) Millionaire

Becoming a 401(K) millionaire is possible. It’s not necessarily easy. However, more and more people are succeeding.

What is a 401(K) Millionaire?

If you’ve never heard of the time before then you might wonder exactly what it means to be a 401(K) millionaire. It isn’t complicated. In fact, it’s exactly as the name suggests. A 401(K) millionaire is someone who has at least $1 million in their retirement account.

The Number of 401(K) Millionaires Is on the Rise

According to CNBC, the number of 401(K) millionaires increased by 35% in the first quarter of 2019 (as compared to the previous year). The main reason for this is because of the large number of baby boomers who are hitting that seven figure mark. The average 401(K) millionaire is 60 years old.

How to Become a 401(K) Millionaire

If you want to become a 401(K) millionaire then you have to get a grip on your money immediately. The younger you are when you start setting that money aside, the more likely it is you’ll reach that seven figure retirement target. That said, here are some key tips that anyone can use to increase their 401(k) savings.

Max Out Your Contributions

The most important thing that you can do is to contribute as much as you’re allowed to contribute to your 401(k). Your allowed employee contribution amount changes from year to year. In 2019, you can contribute $19,000.

However, if you’re over the age of 50, then you’re allowed to contribute a little bit more so that you can “catch up.” In 2019, you’re allowed to contribute $6000 extra.

Remember that the numbers tend to increase every year so always check what the latest possibilities are.

Moreover, make sure that you’re maximizing employer contributions. Take advantage of any options you have at work for your employer to contribute up to the maximum amount. In 2019, the maximum employer contribution is $37,000. Go talk to HR today.

Make Smart Investments

When investing your money, it’s important to consider your age and how long it will be before you retire. If you’re young, then invest in equity-based mutual funds. They offer higher risk but bigger reward. Hang on through the ups and downs.

However, as you get older and approach retirement age, it’s time to switch to more conservative investments. That’s when you want to put more money into cash and bonds.

One smart option is to invest your 401(k) money into a target-date fund. You set the target retirement date. Then professionals manage your investments for you with that goal in mind. They’ll follow the same rules as above (riskier investments early on and more conservative ones later) so that you don’t have to worry about the details so much.

Don’t Count Yourself Out

You don’t have to be rich in order to become a 401(K) millionaire. Although it’s best if you start young, don’t count yourself out if you’re older. Even if you don’t reach that seven figure target, aiming to do so can help you maximize your retirement income.

Know What You Need to Save To Become a Retired Millionaire

Use a millionaire calculator in order to get a realistic picture of what it would take for you to have $1 million or more at retirement. You’ll enter:

  • Current age
  • Target retirement age
  • Amount currently invested
  • Savings per month
  • Expected rate of return
  • Expected inflation rate

This gives you your expected savings at retirement. However, you can play around with the “savings per month” number until your expected savings reaches $1 million. Then you know how much you need to save to reach that million mark. While this doesn’t specifically determine your 401(k) amount, it gives you a good idea of how much other savings you’ll have to add to your 401(k) to become a millionaire at retirement.

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What to Buy on Amazon Prime Day (and What to Skip)

what to buy on amazon prime day

I’ve been thinking a lot about what to buy on Amazon Prime Day. It’s a great time of year to get good deals. However, it’s also a big bonanza sale that’s very hyped up. Therefore, it’s easy to get sucked into the indulgence of consumerism. In other words, if I’m not careful, I know that I can end up wasting money on impulse buys over this two-day sale.

That’s why I want to have a plan. If I’m going to do some Amazon Prime Day shopping, then I need to focus ahead of time on what to buy. I need to make a list and some rules. I need to stick to that. If I’m focused then I’ll make the most of this consumer holiday without wasting money.

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day is a huge set of deals available on the site for a 48-hour period starting July 15th. However, there are also pre-day deals leading up to the actual sales day. All of these deals are only available to people who are Amazon Prime members.

I actually gave up my own Amazon Prime membership this year. If I want to take advantage of the deals, then I need to sign up again. They do offer a 30-day free membership. However, I’ll have to find out if that deal is available to former members. If not, then I won’t buy anything because I’m not ready to pay for a new annual membership.

What to Buy on Amazon Prime Day

If I’m able to get the Amazon Prime membership then there are only a few things that I want to buy on Amazon Prime Day.

Things I Buy Regularly on Amazon

The main thing I want to buy on Amazon Prime is the stuff that I already buy on Amazon. If I buy them anyway, then it makes sense to see if I can get a discount on them for Prime Day. In particular, I’d love to get some good deals on non-perishable items I can stock up on. Here’s my plan:

  • Go through my past orders and look for recurring purchases.
  • Check if any of those items are on sale for Amazon Prime Day.
  • If they are, purchase as many as possible (within reason) to get them at the best price.

Some of the types of things I might want to buy on Amazon Prime Day that fall into this category include groceries, home cleaning supplies, dog food, undergarments, pillows, and bath products.

After going through the old Amazon orders, I’ll also make a list of things I buy regularly such as those above. Maybe I buy them at other stores so they aren’t in my Amazon orders. I’ll check to see if I should get those during Amazon Prime deal days.

Stuff I’ve Been Wanting to Buy on Sale

There are a few things that I’ve been wanting to buy, even though I don’t purchase them regularly. I’ve been waiting for them to go on sale. Some of those things are already in my Amazon cart (“saved for later.”) Therefore, I’ll start there. Then I’ll turn to the list in my journal of “stuff I want to buy on sale.”

These are all things that I want, and I’ll use, but they aren’t necessities. For example, I’ve wanted a new swimsuit for years. I could use a new comforter for my bed. I periodically update my dog’s toy box with new items. I’d like to add to my existing art supplies.

These items are what to buy on Amazon Prime Day. The caveat is that I must already want them (not just desire them because I’m browsing the site) and they must be a good deal.

Planning Ahead for Christmas

Finally, I want to think ahead about Christmas presents. I do not purchase a lot of gifts each year. I tend to make scrapbooks and small handmade items for people. Or not do gifts at all. However, there are a few people that I like to get things for each year. Before going on the site, I’ll brainstorm a list of the types of things I might want to get for them. If I found those on sale on Amazon Prime Day, it would be worth the cost to me.

What Not to Buy on Amazon Prime Day

If something doesn’t fall into one of the above categories, then I’m 90% sure that I won’t buy it on Amazon Prime Day. It’s really important to me to be a conscious shopper. Impulse buys are a waste of money. If I’m going to waste money, I’d rather use it to support local stores. Therefore, I truly want to stick to my list.

In addition, here are some things I keep in mind about what not to buy on Amazon Prime Day:

  • Perishable items
  • Things I would never buy normally
  • Gadgets that look so fun; history says I’ll never use them
  • Clothes and shoes, because I have plenty (except for that swimsuit and underwear)
  • Big ticket items; they’re tempting because of great discounts but spending a lot of money is still spending a lot of money

If I go into it with a good plan than I should know what to buy on Amazon Prime Day and what to skip. Do you have a plan for shopping on days like this?

 

Photo credit: Mein Deal  

 

 

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Think Your Credit Score Doesn’t Matter in Retirement? Think Again.

credit score

You have battled with your credit score your whole life. You wanted a good score so that you can could get the best loans, especially for your home mortgage. Finally, you’ve reached retirement, and you have it in mind that you can rest easy. You have your mortgage, you are done taking out loans for education, so you don’t have to think about your credit score any more right? Wrong. Your credit score still maters in retirement.

You Need to Watch Your Money Carefully in Retirement

Unless you happen to retire with extreme wealth at your disposal, you need to be frugal after retirement. You need to budget. After all, you don’t have the kind of income coming in that you once did. You aren’t going to get raises and other windfalls. You have to make do with what you have.

Therefore, it’s really important that you watch your money carefully. If you have bad credit, then you put yourself at risk. What if something happens and you need to refinance your home? Or what if you need to take out an emergency loan? So many things can go awry in life. Medical expenses, natural disasters, the needs of adult children … you just might need to get credit or a loan again even after you’ve retired.

If you don’t have good credit, then you’re going to end up with a loan that has terrible terms (if you can get a loan at all). A bad credit score means you’ll have a higher interest rate, which in turns means that you’ll have higher monthly repayment bills. If you’re trying to budget in retirement then you can’t afford to waste money on those exorbitant fees. If you maintain a good credit score in retirement then you don’t have to worry about that so much.

You Probably Have More Bills in Retirement Than You Anticipated

People like to paint a rosy picture of retirement. You’ve worked hard your entire life, so now you can rest. You can take the money that you set aside and enjoy your sunset years. However, this financially lovely picture simply isn’t the reality for many Americans reaching retirement age today.

Baby boomers who have retired or about to retire have much higher bills than they might have expected. In fact, many still owe on their homes, either due to an original mortgage or to refinancing over the years. Additionally, older people increasingly have high levels of credit card debt to their names. Some people even still have student loan debt when they retire!

If you have these types of outstanding debt, then you really need to make sure that you have a good credit score in retirement. You should work to improve the score as much as possible. You can do that through debt repayment, increased credit lines, disputing incorrect credit report information, etc. Once you have boosted your score as much as possible, you can then use that good credit score to get a great rate on a consolidation loan. This will allow you to repay that debt as quickly as possible so that it doesn’t hang over you throughout your entire retirement.

Plus more and more Americans retire but then start a post-retirement business of their own. If you’d like to start a new business, then you might need a business loan. If you have a good credit score in retirement, it’ll be significantly easier to get that loan.

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