Saving $100k – $300k: Some Numbers & Charts

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Here are some numbers and charts to consider for anyone on the road to saving $100k – $300k. 

$0 to $100k

If you start with a net worth of $0 and save $5,000 per year, investment returns have a huge impact on how long it will take you to save $100k.

If you earn 1% annual returns, it will take just over 18 years to save $100k. Instead, if you earn 10% returns, it will only take 11 years.

Conversely, if you save $50,000 per year, investment returns hardly impact how long it will take to save $100k.

If you earn 1% returns, it will take 1.99 years. If you earn 10% returns, it will take you 1.91 years. Not much of a difference. 

Here’s a chart that shows how long it will take to go from $0 to $100k based on different yearly savings. Each circle represents different annual investment returns. 


Some Observations

  • Someone who saves $20k per year and earns 1% returns will accumulate $100k before someone who saves $15k per year and earns 10% returns.
  • To save $100k in under 5 years, you need to save at least $20k per year.
  • To save $100k in under 3 years, you need to save at least $35k per year.

$0 to $200k

Here’s the same chart, but for saving $200k.


Some Observations

  • Someone who saves $20k and earns 3% returns will reach $200k at the same time as someone who saves $15k and earns 10% returns.
  • If you save anything more than $30k per year, the difference in time it takes to save $200k is less than one year between 1% and 10% annual returns. 

$0 to $300k

Same chart, but for saving $300k.


Some Observations

  • Investment returns matter a lot if you only save $5,000 per year. The difference between 1% and 10% returns is 27 years.
  • If you save $50,000 per year and earn 10% returns, it will take 4.93 years to accumulate $300k. Instead, if you earn 1% returns it will take 5.86 years. That’s a difference of less than one year.

Spreadsheet: saving_100k_to_300k


Zach is the author behind Four Pillar Freedom, a blog that teaches you how to build wealth and gain freedom in life.

Zach's favorite free financial tool he's been using since 2015 to manage his net worth is Personal Capital. Each month he uses their free Investment Checkup tool and Retirement Planner to track his investments and ensure that he's on the fast track to financial freedom.

His favorite investment platform is M1 Finance, a site that allows him to build a custom portfolio of stocks for free, has no trading or maintenance fees, and even allows him to set up automated target-allocated investments.

His favorite way to save money each month on his recurring bills is by using Trim, a free financial app that negotiates lower cable, internet, and phone bills with any provider on your behalf.

His favorite micro-investing app is Acorns, a free financial app that takes just 5 minutes to set up and allows you to invest your spare change in a diversified portfolio.

His favorite place to find new personal finance articles to read is Collecting Wisdom, a site that collects the best personal finance articles floating around the web on a daily basis.


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Full Disclosure: Nothing on this site should ever be considered to be advice, research or an invitation to buy or sell any securities, please see my Terms & Conditions page for a full disclaimer.

One Reply to “Saving $100k – $300k: Some Numbers & Charts”

  1. More mathematical proof that it’s better to consistently save than chase returns! I also find it more enjoyable to focus on my savings rate since it’s much easier to control than my return.

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