Want to be a Millionaire?
Want to be a millionaire? Who doesn’t! There was a time in America the aspiration to become a millionaire seemed to be a daunting task. It’s still no easy feat for the majority of American’s, but it is an accomplishment that is being achieved by more and more of our neighbors each year.
According to the annual World Wealth Report, the U.S. had 3.1 million millionaires in 2010…up from 2.86 million in 2009. Although the economic issues that plagued America and the world since 2008 have caused some decline in “millionaire” status, overall, we continue to see an increase in those who have accumulated a million dollar net worth.
So, who are these elite? The folk who drive a BMW, Mercedes or Lexus? The folk who live in mega square foot homes? Well, in all honesty, not all millionaires look like this. In fact, many people that do look like this are not in fact millionaires. Many of those “high end” autos are not owned out right…they have expensive monthly loan or lease payments.
There was an excellent book written in 1996 that revealed the secrets of America’s wealthy. The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko revealed these somewhat surprising facts about America’s millionaires:
- They don’t drive high end autos or live in palatial homes, they drive Ford F 150’s, or economical family cars
- They get nearly 10 years of usage out of their automobiles
- They purchase two-to-three year old good quality, used automobiles when needed
- They have lived in the same house for many years
- They wear modestly priced clothing
- They spend far less than they earn
- 80% of them made their money in one generation
- Only 20% had more than 10% of their income from an inheritance, and
- They invest 20% of their annual income.
Bottom line: To become a millionaire may not be exciting and glamorous! Based on the data from this book, becoming a millionaire it takes time and even a significant lifestyle change for many people – an ability to delay gratification, to put off that purchase, or to truly determine “needs” verses “wants.”
If you want to become a millionaire...be smart and frugal, get the most out of your purchases by making them last, spend less than you make and invest the difference, give it time and attention, and you too can see your overall financial picture move to the status of MILLIONAIRE!