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We’ve Got Our First Millionaire In The Club!

by J. Money on Monday, May 20, 2013

millionaire club

Hot dogs! Over 5 years ago we started our awesome Millionaire Club and listed everything out we needed to accomplish to get there, and today we have our first member who’s officially crossed it! Give a round of applause to BigChrisB – way to go, man!

Here was his original submission from January 25, 2011 as member #62 (we now have 105 people pledging to reach a million). Do you remember what yours looked like if you’re one of the members from back then?

I’ve decided to join the crowd, and make my own millionaire pledge. I’m already past $600,000, so don’t have too far to go. Until I achieve this goal, I pledge to:

1. Pay off my business loan by Feb 2012 (~$4,000/month)
2. Contribute the maximum ($25,000/yr) to my superannuation fund
3. Pay all dividends from listed investments onto my margin loan
4. Pay the dividend component of my pay ($2,700/month after tax) either into my margin loan, or into my investment company.
5. Pay all periodic profit dividends from my employer into my investment company.

Doing this, without any return on investment, I will be a millionaire by January 2014, or three years time. If my investments return as expected (5% capital gain on listed stocks, 12% on private company), I will be a millionaire by October 2012. Check back and see if I can do it!

And here’s his follow up post too, if you want to read how he reached it: I’m a Millionaire! We’ll see if the first million is, indeed, harder to achieve than the second :)

Seeing all this got me thinking about my own millionaire goals from back in the day too, and what – if any – I’m still working on. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t really looked at that post since I last updated it all those years ago when I got fired, other than to add new members to the list, but of course I have been paying attention to my money and what not. As evidence in my monthly net worth updates – even if they’re not talking about the ultimate goal of hitting $1 Mil.

What’s crazier though is that I have never written a follow up post to the original Millionaire Club idea after all these years! How lame is that?? How are we supposed to motivate each other here if we rarely talk about it? We gotta change that!

So today – 5 years and almost 1 month to the original date of posting - we shall start doing Millionaire Club follow ups going forward. It may not be every week or every month for that matter, but whenever the mood strikes we will, indeed, hold ourselves accountable and welcome the new members to the club. Perhaps some others have also hit it and we were too busy to notice? :(

Okay, so step #1: Revisit our current millionaire plan.

Here’s what I had on Day #1:

  1. Max out my 401(k) –> $16,500 invested | $16,500 matched!
  2. Save/invest 1/2 of all future bonuses –> $2,500
  3. Max out my Roth IRA –> $5,000 invested
  4. Sell unwanted stuff on Craigslist –> $500 est.

Banking approximately $41,000/year towards hitting the goal, making me a millionaire by the time I hit 43 (we used CNN’s millionaire calculator  setting the growth % conservatively at 6%, and stripping out inflation since it would *still* be a million dollars regardless of what a million means by then).

Then when I got laid off a couple years later, I went back and updated this list to reflect the following, more achievable goals, at that time. Which is always important to do or what’s the point in even thinking about it all?:

  1. Max out my SEP Ira –> $15,000 invested
  2. Max out my Roth IRA –>$5,000 invested
  3. Continue living more minimalistically –> $3,000 est.
  4. Sell unwanted stuff on Craigslist –> $500 est.

Putting me at $23,500/year and making me a millionaire by the time I’m 45. So a set back of 2 years from the change of plans, but only after a couple of years of hitting the goals earlier which helped to close the gap.

Step #2: Update our current millionaire plan!

It’s now been a good 2 and 1/2 years since that last day of goal updating, so we need to review and make sure we’re up to date again if we want to stay on track. Which we most definitely do :)

I may have been neglecting these Club posts, but I can assure you I’ve done nothing but continue dreaming and hustling to reach those extra 0′s at the end that number! I’m okay with being a Thousand Dollar Baller for the time being, and even a Thousandaire, but I’m not gonna start becoming complacent anytime soon, that’s for sure. I’ve got dreams, my friends…

So here’s what our to-do list looks like NOW:

  1. Max out my SEP Ira –> $22,000 invested
  2. Max out my Roth IRA –>$5,500 invested
  3. Max out my wife’s Roth IRA –> $5,500 invested

And that’s it. Yeah I’ll be working on living more minimalistically still, and selling stuff on Craigslist, etc, etc, but I’m not gonna spend the time tracking it and holding myself accountable. Same with other things that will pop up throughout the years like a new business opportunity or awesome stock that’s taking off and what not. These three items above are the sole focus of all my saving/investing which I’ll be working towards no matter what’s going on around me. And I think that’s more than enough to bite off in a single year :)

Keeping this going will give us a total of $33,000/year socked away, making us a millionaire earlier on again at the age of 42 (9 years and 4 months from now). Not including any non-income producing assets either, like a house, cars, etc which the millionaire calculator doesn’t factor in. I guess they want you to hit a million based on investments only?

And notice I say “WE” here instead of “I” since our money has been tied together officially now for the past couple of years. It took us a while, but we eventually merged everything to simplify and make our lives easier – even though we still have a small side fund each which we can do as we please with. This makes it harder to compare our numbers with other, strictly single, people out there, but that’s not really the point of all this to us. We’re in a competition here with *ourselves*, not others!

What all this means to YOU?

Well, I dunno – that’s a question for yourself :) I’d love it if you wanted to join us here and become an official “member,” but it’s totally dependent on what you can get out of this stuff and if it helps.

For me, I like seeing stuff written down and narrowing in on what the REAL goal is here with tracking all these numbers – especially since having a blog makes it easy to go back in time and review! – but I know it’s not for everyone. A million dollars is a big scary number, so maybe it’s better to start out at $100,000 and work your way up? Or even $500,000?

Regardless, the takeaway here is to have some goals – any goals – and then do your best to follow through on them. The simpler/more accountable you can make them, the better. Who needs more hassle in their life??

Welcoming the latest members to our club!

Here are the most recent people who have joined our sexy secret society. Congrats on putting it all down on paper, guys! That’s a good first step!

And with that, we shall wrap up our first update :) If anyone else wants to join us, please do! Just drop a comment along with your list in the comments on our club page and I’ll add you to the list. We’ve got 105 members so far who may or may not be paying attention anymore, haha… (again, it’s been 5 years since originally posting it!) but the dream is still very much alive and well for most people. It’s just a matter of committing to it and taking action!!

So give it some thought today and see what comes of it… you can always go back to the old normal you if you ever get bored ;) See the rest of you on the beach!


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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shafi May 20, 2013 at 7:19 am

Looks like pretty soon you would join the 1%. That means you would be leaving us – the rest 99%.

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2 J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:24 pm

I don’t think I could ever leave “the rest” – my mindset won’t be changing, just my wallet! :)

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3 Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle May 20, 2013 at 7:51 am

“Contribute the maximum ($25,000/yr) to my superannuation fund”

Definition or explanation please.

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4 J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:25 pm

He’s in Australia so it’s a different type of vehicle… I’d imagine like a 401(k) of some sorts? I’d google it if I weren’t being lazy ;)

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5 bigchrisb May 22, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Yes, I’m in Australia. The retirement system here is based around superannuation accounts (retirement account by another name). You must contribute 9% (rising to 12%) of pre-tax salary, and can choose to contribute more than this. Both contributions and earnings are taxed at 15%, as opposed to whatever your marginal tax rate may be (38.5% for me).

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6 J. Money May 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm

woahhhh everyone there MUST contribute to it?? Like mandatory savings?? If so, that’s awesome!!

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7 bigchrisb May 23, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Yes, its been mandatory since the early 1990′s. Means Australia has one of the larger pots of retirement savings in the world on a per capita basis. These type of accounts are about $1.5T, where as the Australian population is about 22M. However, such a big pool of funds makes it pretty tempting for government to keep trying to change the rules, so there is a lot of perceived policy risk for it as an investment vehicle.

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8 Julie May 20, 2013 at 9:51 am

Wow! Did you know (according to Hallmark’s “Ultimate Holiday” App) that today is “Be a Millionaire” Day??? Great timing.

And now, I shall put together my list of what I have to do to join the club. :)

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9 J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:26 pm

What? Really?? That’s awesome!! And so perfect! :)

Once you’ve got your list down, be sure to let me know so I can add you to our members list :) We’d be happy to have you!

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10 Jacob Erickson May 20, 2013 at 10:06 am

This is a great idea and congrats to BigChrisB! I really like having set goals and making sure they are public so that others can keep you accountable. A goal of a million dollars seems lofty, but it can be done if you just make a plan to reach it (and then stick to that plan). I haven’t specifically thought about how to get to a million dollars, but I will try to soon.

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11 J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:27 pm

A lot of stuff is great writing it down either for people to see or not. More odds of it happening!

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12 SavvyFinancialLatina May 20, 2013 at 10:14 am

This is a great idea! I need to fill out my application. :)

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13 Zach @ The True Generalist May 20, 2013 at 10:49 am

Can you do me a favor and show a screen shot of how you filled out that calculator?

This is exciting, cause I’m doing much better than I was in Jan 2011. I’m saving a lot but I am using SOME of the money on things I love. For instance, i like to write, have already published one book and have another one coming out today! It’s a sci fi short called “Mortimus Walker and the Secret of the White City”, so a quick read and getting good reviews. Check it out on my author page:
http://www.amazon.com/author/zachturner

Oh and since it’s opening day, The whole thing is FREE TODAY ONLY! Hope you like it!

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14 J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Cool – congrats! Nothing wrong at all with spending money on stuff you love – that’s mostly the point of it :) It might technically delay you hitting Millionaire status, but who cares – you’ll be happy before you even get there!

(too tired/slammed to go back and take a screenshot, but I’ll try and remember later for ya)

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15 Zach @ The True Generalist May 21, 2013 at 12:50 am

Thanks man! It has been an epic weekend. Got to #2 spot on sci fi shorts in Amazon!

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16 Debt Blag May 20, 2013 at 11:10 am

Amazing!

And thanks for the mention. My own path is a long way off, but hopefully, I will be there sooner rather than later :)

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17 Retire By 40 May 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Keep at it! You are well on the way there.

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18 Grayson @ Debt Roundup May 20, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Congrats on entering the 1%!! That is awesome that the club has it’s first official millionaire. There is nothing wrong with that.

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19 Free Money Minute May 20, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Glad to see you are going to put more time into the millionaire club. I hope to be there along a similar timeline, maybe 10 years…..that would put me at about 45. It gets easier and easier as you let compound interest for you rather than against you. Debt will drag you down.

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20 J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Yes indeedy. 10 years is nothing in the grand scheme of things – I hope you keep pushing forward.

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21 IV May 20, 2013 at 3:37 pm

It is also a WE for me now instead of an 1

Together we match our company matches and max our Roth bringing it to about 30K a year. Whil we don’t max our 401k yet simply because we have started working on maxing our HSA first.

Which brings an interesting question. After you have maxed your roth and tapped out the company match should you continue working on the 401k or if it is offered do you work on the tax advantaged systems such as an HSA

Where to best put that 6K a year? Healthcare isn’t going down anytime soon.

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22 MoMoney May 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm

If you have a spare $6,000 to invest then the HSA beats out any kind of 401k or Roth. It allows for tax free contributions, tax free growth, and tax free withdrawals provided you will use it for medical expenses (and we all know there will be no shortage of medical expenses as we age). No single retirement vehicle offers all three tax benefits.

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23 J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:32 pm

That’s a great question for sure. I don’t know much/participate in HSAs so not too familiar with it, but MoMoney up above seems to be on the right track…

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24 Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce May 20, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Wonderful to see this. Clear insight into your own finances and an understanding of the market are the foundations. Good luck!

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25 thepotatohead May 21, 2013 at 12:25 am

Awesome on the million mark! I’m just starting my journey so got a long way to go to reach that milestone. I’ll settle for $100k first :p

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26 J. Money May 21, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Heck yeah dawg, we all wanna reach $100k!

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27 HabbieBabbie May 21, 2013 at 7:41 am

I should really ask debtdigger, but you might be better at explaining…

What does this mean exactly?
“Net worth passes $1,000,000 in May. Debt at $545,000.”

So… I assume “net” is “net” but how does the debt factor in to that?
Is that kinda like having a mortgage? I’m confused.

Anyway congrats to you and the plan!

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28 J. Money May 21, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I’d venture to guess he means he has $1 Million in assets (stocks, cash, etc) and then business debt. But I could be wrong… It does get tricky in general figuring out if you should include business stuff or not. If I added that in (and could value my sites well) my numbers would jump up quite a bit :) But I figure that’s for another day – like when/if I sell!

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29 HabbieBabbie May 21, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Word. I see someone else asked on his site, so I’ll follow that thread.

You well on your way dog!

http://www.worthofweb.com/website-value/http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/

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30 J. Money May 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Nice! I like that :) Who knows how they’re calculating it all but it’s fun nonetheless. Thanks.

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31 bigchrisb May 23, 2013 at 12:02 am

Good question! By “net” I mean the value of my assets (about $1.6M) less the value of my debt (about $550k). The debt is all investment debt (business loan and margin debt against stocks).

However, the same method would be true if looking at a house. A $1,000,000 house with a $900,000 mortgage would not (in my opinion) make you worth $1,000,000, but just the difference, $100,000.

Hope that helps!

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32 J. Money May 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm

D’uh. Yeah, that makes a lot more sense, haha… I must have been half-sleeping while trying to calculate that in my head ;)

And also, congrats again my man! Or better yet, Mr. Millionaire!

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33 KC @ genxfinance May 21, 2013 at 8:37 am

That is neat. Congratulations. We’re still on our way there but we are working smart to earn it.

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34 D May 22, 2013 at 12:17 am

You touched on the “We” factor here, and that you finally combined your assets. I am your age and getting married in a few weeks. I would love you to blog a bit about going from checking the “single” financial box to “married”. There are many opinions, but I am trying to figure out how to dive into combining assets. I have been striving for “single” goals for a while and now I need to figure out how to change to a “we” goal.

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35 J. Money May 23, 2013 at 5:44 pm
36 Anton Ivanov | Dreams Cash True May 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Regardless if you have been actively talking about The Million Dollar Club or not, it’s more important that you have been working on getting there yourself! Congrats man and it looks like you are on track to getting your first million very soon!

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37 J. Money May 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm

That’s true indeed :) Thanks man. Hope you reach it soon too!

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38 Thomas @ MADD Finances May 28, 2013 at 11:42 am

Great to see so many people on the list and to actually have someone reach the goal is wonderful. I will make sure to check out that post by BigChrisB. I think this is wonderful and need to actually put my goals down on paper and join the list.

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