• Thanks Penny, I thought the post might drive home some key points. It was in draft form for about 10 months…I’m glad I finally got it out. Now, I’ve got to get on a couple of other “greatest-post-ever” posts to finish. Thanks for reading. Ed

      • Yay! I’m lookong forward to yhe next “greatest post ever.”
        I loved this one too. I’m glad to know that if things should not go according to your trillinaire plan you still won’t starve or anything.
        Great post!

        • Mrs. Hazlenut, thanks for the positive vibes! We are going to make it work one way or another…lots of the fun things that we do don’t cost that much anyway. Until the next awesome post…

  1. The new “hot topic” is that real stock returns are going to be so much less in the future than what we historically have seen. Now I know that historical performance is not indicative of future performance, but I know predicting the future is just asking for a disaster. While those doomsdayers are busy finding alternative investments, complaining, and potentially avoiding equity markets, I’ll be plowing my money into Vanguard index funds, tempting them to prove me wrong 🙂 And I’ll most likely die a rich man!

  2. I turn 35 this week as an educator who has never had debt and has saved between 20-35% of my income and I just realized my networth is approaching $500,000! With my wife starting to work and banking her entire paycheck we figured some similar numbers for us. We could early retire in no time once our house is paid off or we could amass multiple millions. This site is great because most people don’t believe that saving your income is your best bet in accumulating wealth. Keep it up!! Great post!

    • Josh, nice job…at 35 you’re well on the way to financial independence. It amazes me how so many people don’t understand that if you want to have some wealth, you have to save some money. Go forth and be an example because it’s obviously doable. Have fun coaching this year and good luck. Ed

  3. Aim for the stars and you might hit the moon! You never know, with all the medical advancements you might live to 120+ 🙂

    If you had a trillion dollars, you could make some serious waves in the stock market too. Think about how much fun that would be.

    Don’t like a publicly traded company? Buy it and shut it down. 🙂

    • Jim, I’d love to live to 120 and beyond as long as I still have my zest for life. If it’s not in the cards, I’ll just have to flame out on Rio-Amsterdam-Bangkok bender at age 84. (Wow, that’s big talk from a guy who’s in bed by 9:30 every night!)

  4. My wife and I plan to retire on between $750,000 and $800,000, buy an RV and travel the country for the foreseeable future. You’re right, it doesn’t take much to retire so long as you’re living sensibly. With the right lifestyle, a $1m nest egg is more than enough to live out the rest of your days pleasantly job-free.

    • Steve, I can’t wait to read about your adventures. I’m ready to create some of my own soon. As long as you keep a reasonable lifestyle with an eye on costs, travel doesn’t have to eat up your budget. We did an exploratory trip to Cancun and got by on $1,500 for the three of us. That included everything: rent, groceries, meals out, trips to the beach, etc.

      I enjoy your blog and thanks for visiting mine. Ed

  5. Great way to highlight the possibilities of compounding. So many investors (speculators?) have such a short term mindset, then 20 years pass and they wonder why their “investments” haven’t taken off. Definitely takes discipline and patience, but the rewards are worth it.


    • DP, that’s why old money gets so big. Can you imagine what a nest egg looks like after mushrooming for a couple of generations? It would be incomprehensible wealth for 99.99% of us.

  6. Love the post, Ed!

    I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’m only 35 and I’ve got many more years of compounding before my time ends at 120. I too am optimistic I can replicate Buffett’s wizardry with a 22.3% return. After all, he has shared all of his secrets, right?

    So after starting with a similar net worth, 85 more years of compounding, and a 22.3% annual yield, my net worth will top out at $27,994,497,255,256 (that’s 27.994 trillion baby!).

    I think when I reach 22 trillion I’ll finally relax, go on a few trips, and feel secure:)

    • Chad, that’s a great plan, but you would have even more financial security if you could get your net worth to $28,000,0000,000,000. I mean we could all use an extra $5.5 billion, right? Just a thought…

  7. Like (some) others, I think $1 million (or probably much less) is plenty enough to retire, as long as lifestyle is appropriately calibrated.

    And yep, consistent, aggressive saving and compounding is pretty much all it takes to meet any money goal, over time. With such a simple formula, why do you suppose so many seem not to grasp the concept?

    • Kurt, that’s the trillion dollar question, right? I think the concepts of financial independence and extreme early retirement are new to most people. Many people view these concepts favorably when (and if) they learn of them. As more people use these concepts to gain control of their finances and lives, the idea that you control your life, money, time and retirement might spread to the general public. Everyone pursuing this path is leading by example. Thanks for the visit. Ed

    • Rich, as the Wizard of Westwood used to say, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” What most people miss is that the plan doesn’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to follow it exactly. A plan just gives some direction towards a goal, right? Thanks for checking out my blog. Cheers, Ed

  8. Spot on mate. The crazy dream I have is to be earning 1000inr every minute after age of 50. I will retire by 50 and i will be playing with my grand children and at the same time earning 1000inr per minute from return on investments made. The calculations involved was return on investment divided by no of days n so on to reach minute level. Then the reality strikes and final conclusion is , I need to earn 5000inr every hour. It is doable.. Cheers..

  9. I’ve thought about this a lot. We’re much more likely to end up with $5-10 million or more than we are with $0.

    Since we have $1.5 million in our 30’s and don’t spend much more than the dividend yield each year AND stumbled into some side hustles that are coming close to letting us not touch the portfolio at all, we might end up on one of those trajectories of 7-10% long term growth for the next 60+ years. 7% for 60 years would leave us with roughly $100,000,000. Them’s a lot of zeros. 🙂

    • I just used my trusty hand to estimate that we could also hit the nine-digit club. Using the rule of 72 I estimate that our portfolio will double every 7 years. (I’m using a 10% return estimate in my uncertain, hand-math calculation.) Let see: 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128. Those are millions! Okay, so 7 cycles of 7 years equals 49 years. I’m 52 now + 49 years…so, at 101 years I’ll have a net worth of $100+ million.

  10. interesting thoughts,
    hope you going to make it, I am modest, I don’t set up my goals like that, I don’t care about amount which I will have or could have, I am trying to live in this moment, I am investing in shares by some rational taught,
    for example: I think clean energy sectors will be high growth sector in next decade, so I invest in reputable companies in that sector,
    Until now for 20 years of career, I managed to have portfolio net worth $650K and don’t care if in next 20 years I have 2% income raise

    • Gandolfo, in all honesty I don’t think I’ll hit my $1 trillion goal, but it doesn’t cost anything to dream. The good news is we need far less than that amount to have a great life and enjoy ourselves. My main goal of the post was to illustrate the power of time in the market and steady growth. Good luck hitting your goals and Happy New Year. Ed

  11. Great post! I like the optimistic start that you make to become a billionaire…why not, it might happen…

    The points you make are very valid. More people should know about this AND practice it.

    I look forward to read about your FIRE stories and experiences


    • Amber Tree, the underlying personal finance principles are simple, but their implementation isn’t always so easy. As soon as you change a few behaviors, the results are amazing. In our case, the shift to hardcore savings has greatly accelerated our net worth. It’s much easier to save 70%+ of our salaries than to generate a 20% return on our investments. Thanks for checking out my site. Ed

  12. Nice adventure you will have on you journey to become trillionaire hope you are going to make it. I will continue trying to win power-ball, for me chances to win power-ball are little bigger than your method 🙂
    If I use your method, I would need about 400yrs according to my income 🙂

  13. hilarious and true post. time and compounding are very important. and so is eating right!! I wrote a couple posts about how I thought it was silly that so many people are only focused on attaining a net worth of $1M. Why not $10M or $100M. Indeed, why not $1 Trillion!?! love it.

    • I’m with you PatientWealthBuilder: Why stop at a crummy $1 million? Come on people, dream a little! I imagine the journey from $1 million to $2 million will be much easier since the portfolio will be doing most of the heavy lifting. I look forward to checking out your blog…thanks for the visit. Ed

  14. Jeff

    Hi Ed,
    I enjoy your posts as well as your podcast interviews. Very interesting to think through all the possibilities. I know you are in retirement accounts for much of your investments. Have you calculated the RMD (required minimum distribution) on that Trillion dollars at age 120? Could be an interesting number.

    • Jeff, thanks for the punch to the stomach! Unless I find a way to pull off a Roth IRA conversion ladder at $100 billion a year for 10 years, it looks like I’ll have to pay Uncle Sam something. An RMD calculation is too frightening to contemplate. This year I plan on beginning my first Roth IRA conversion to reduce Uncle Sam’s portion of my retirement check. Ed

  15. Jeffrey

    Hi Ed,

    I think one point that is often overlooked is the potential change in ones family tree that lifestyles such as these can affect. You may not live to be 120 years old in 2084 (sorry) nor make 22.3% (sorry, again), but the legacy that you may leave has the potential to outlive all of us. Teaching our children, and the generations to come, how to manage life is more valuable than most people realize.

    For fun, think about your own family and what happens if you leave your resources to your son and his family. He can manage his life, start to contribute to the “net-worth,” and watch it grow. Then his children (your grand-children) …. Someone will be around in 2084 and beyond, and they CAN become trillionaires.

    Just don’t blame your ancestors for not starting this for you!

    • Hi Jeffrey, great food for thought. We are teaching our son the ins-and-outs of money: needs vs. wants, consumption, savings, and investing. He know a lot more than most kids; he’s 10. I would be nice if our lineage continued the path of wealth building AND life maximization, but you know how we human are. It’s always so easy to spend money, especially in your youth, that you didn’t earn or save. Getting your children and their children established financially is problematic, but it’s a good problem to have.

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