How long will it take for the stock market to turn your savings into $1 million

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Having $1 million in an account with your name on it is a pretty incredible achievement, but for most of us, working hard and saving isn’t enough to get there. We need to invest our money to help it grow faster.

How long it takes to grow your investments to $1 million depends on several factors, including how much you contribute and your rate of return. Let’s look at how these things work together.

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How much will your investments be worth in the future?

When you invest in a stock, the higher your earnings, the less you have to put aside your own money to reach $1 million. Here’s how long it would take to reach that goal if you saved $500 a month at variable rates of return. Responses are rounded to the nearest full year.

Average annual return

$1 million years, saving $500 a month

6%

41 years

8%

35 years

ten%

30 years

Source: Author’s calculations.

As you can see, there are a lot of variations in how long it will take you to reach your goal, and you don’t have full control over that. You can choose what you invest in, but you don’t know how those investments will perform over time.

While you can count on some investment income to help you grow your wealth, it’s best to focus on what you can control – how much you invest – if you want to reach your savings goal faster. The following chart shows how changing your monthly investment amount changes how quickly you reach $1 million, if you earn an average annual return of 8%. As before, all responses are rounded to the nearest full year.

Monthly fee

Years to $1 million with an average annual return of 8%

$100

55 years

$250

43 years

$500

35 years

$1,000

26 years

$1,500

22 years old

Source: Author’s calculations.

With more money in your account, you can buy more shares of a stock, and more shares generate more income when the stock is doing well.

It may not be easy for you to increase your contributions to your investment account, but it’s a safer way to reach your savings goal than betting on a higher rate of return. If you’re not able to save as much as you’d like right now, set aside as much as you can and try to increase your annual contributions by 1% of your income each year. If you’re making $50,000 a year, that’s just $500 more, or about $42 a month.

What if $1 million wasn’t enough?

Reaching the million dollar milestone is a huge accomplishment, but it might not be enough for the rest of your life. You should set your own retirement savings goal.

The above information is still useful even if you need more than a million dollars for your retirement. By increasing your personal contributions and prioritizing your investments at any age, you will have a much better chance of reaching your long-term goal.

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