Stocks — Part VII: Can everyone really retire a millionaire? I wonder if it would actually can you invest in stocks under 18 possible for every single person to retire a millionaire?
That very provocative question was posed in the comments by reader mmrempen a few posts back. It’s been rattling around in my brain ever since. It is possible for every middle class wage earner to retire a millionaire. But it’s never going to happen.
And that’s not because the numbers don’t work. Not quite a million, but not a handful of mud either. Want nothing less than the full million? Your million plus a new Tesla and Corvette. If you think about it, this is pretty amazing considering all the financial turmoil of the past 40 years.
However, it’s important to know that compounding takes time, so it helps to start young. Of course, a million dollars is a very arbitrary goal. Perhaps the better question is: Can everybody achieve financial independence? There are countless stories of people of modest income who by way of fugal living and dedicated savings get there in remarkably short time.
Then too, I remember having lunch with a friend of mine a few years back just before Christmas. He spent the lunch complaining that it just wasn’t possible to make ends meet on what he made. Listening to his expenses, he was right. He’s burning thru more than 175k every three months. Financial independence is a distant dream for him.
Money is a very relative thing. 100,000 has less relative value to their net worth. For still others it might be more than they’ll see in an entire year. Being independently wealthy is every bit as much about limiting needs as it is about how much money you have.