The Million Dollar Grid


Behold. The million dollar grid.

This grid shows how many years it will take you to save $1 million based on how much you save each year and your annual return on your investments. 

The grid assumes you are starting at $0.

An Example Using the Grid

Here’s an example of the math behind the grid. If you save $20,000 per year and invest these savings at a 5% interest rate, you can be a millionaire in 25 years:


Some Interesting Observations

  • Starting with $0, you can become a millionaire in 30 years by saving $1,000 per month and investing it at a 5% annual interest rate.
  • You can also become a millionaire in 30 years by saving only $500 per month (so $6,000 per year) and investing it at a 10% annual interest rate.
  • The more you save, the less investing returns influence how many years it will take to become a millionaire. For example, by saving $50,000 per year and earning 5% annual returns, you’ll be a millionaire in 14 years. By increasing your annual investment returns to 10%, you’ll only become a millionaire 3 years sooner…
  • …The opposite is also true. The less you save, the more influential investing returns become. By saving just $2,000 per year with 5% returns, it will take you 66 years to become a millionaire. But by saving that same amount with 10% returns, you can become a millionaire in only 41 years.
  • Even with pitiful 2% annual returns, you can become a millionaire in just over 30 years by saving $2,000 per month (so $24,000 per year).
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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.

7 Replies to “The Million Dollar Grid”

  1. Zach, your graphs are awesome! Could you please provide this same graph but the y axis extended so that it goes all the way up to 200k/year? (If this wouldn’t be too time consuming on your part of course). I figure that kind of aggressive savings is possible for individuals with high salaries (or, more likely, couples with high salaries).

    Thanks in advance!

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