How to Build Your Army of Dollar Bills!

July 27, 2023

Your money should eventually work harder than you do with your back, bones, and brain. Think exponentially rather than linearly and use index target retirement funds to tune out the investment decision noise.

Want to know what to do with your next dollar? You need this free download: the Financial Order of Operations. It’s our nine tried-and-true steps that will help you secure your financial future.


Because this is a great segue into the next one that I want to talk about. Because I want you to think about what every dollar has the potential to become. When I talk about your army of dollar bills, here’s what we’re going to say for number three: Your money should work harder than you do. If you already know consumption costs can explode up to where credit card debt of six thousand dollars could be worth to your retired self six hundred thousand dollars, it’s going to change your worldview on what the potential of every dollar is.

But let’s talk about this now from an investment standpoint. How we make your army of dollars work harder than you can with your hands, your back, or your brain. You know, you guys see it all the time; we drink these drinks on the show, we have these koozies that say, you know, “This beer cost me $1, but it’s worth $88.” It’s because we understand the concept that one dollar today invested can turn into $88 in the future if you put that money to work.

We thought it’d be interesting to look at this from a slightly different perspective, showing that if you were to build your savings to a million dollars starting at different ages and different savings amounts, how much of that million dollars is actually represented by the growth of your dollars, not just your contributions?

I’ll start with a 20-year-old. If you’re a 20-year-old and you want to save a million dollars by the time you get to 65, you save $95 a month to do that. Well, by the time you get to 65, you have a million dollars saved up. Of that million dollars, almost $950,000 of it is growth, earnings, investment return. You only had to save $51,000 of that million. It’s remarkable; your money worked way harder than you had to work. Yeah, this is one I mean, when you look at these numbers because I know a lot of you are either exercising or driving, so you don’t get to see the visuals. So I want to make sure I do this justice.

That’s for the 20-year-old: 95% of the account value is actually coming from the growth of the assets, not your contributions. For the 30-something, that’s still incredible. If you started by age 30, which most of you Financial mutants have, 89% of the final account value is still the growth, not your contribution. It’s the money growing upon itself with compounding.

For 40-year-olds, 77%; even for a 50-year-old, 55% of your account value at retirement is still coming from the growth, not your contribution. I think it’s important to pause there; it’s so remarkable. People all the time say to us, “Man, I wish I would have found you 10 years ago, 15, 20 years.” Oh, I feel like I missed an opportunity. Oh, look at what a 50-year-old can do just from age 50 to age 65. If you can be disciplined, if you can put your money to work, there is still a huge growth opportunity and potential for you to build retirement dollars. So just because you didn’t start yesterday doesn’t mean that you can’t start right now, today.

Now I do want to caution you on one quick thing, and I won’t spend a ton of time on this, but I talk all the time about boiling point. It’s because look at this; a lot of people will hear this slide and say, “I want to get that 95% growth,” and you’re all in on that, and you start investing. You go to fidelity.com, you go to Vanguard, you go to Charles Schwab, and you set up your index Target retirement to do a monthly investment into a Roth or something else. But then I think you’re going to look at this five years in the future, and you’re gonna be like, “Man, I feel like the majority of my account value, the lion’s share, is still what I put into this. Where’s all this growth this 95% growth these guys were talking about?” This is what I’m talking about.

We all know that water does not boil until it gets to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, and it pretty much a watched pot, you know, is just sitting there, and you’re like, “Where’s all this energy it’s supposed to happen that creates this explosive growth?” It’s working under the surface; the first 10 years are going to feel like a grind. And I just need to go ahead and prepare you; when you set it and forget it with your inevitable automatic wealth creation, don’t expect to see magical stuff the first 10 years. The gigantic growth is going to occur when we get into 15, 20, 25 years. I know that sounds crazy, but that is the way wealth creation starts. We know the stats: 28 years is how long it takes the typical millionaire to build wealth; the average age is 49. I’m not trying to deter you; I’m just saying in this world where we’ve lost our attention span, stay patient, stay focused. This is the work that builds wealth without the shortcuts or the traps that everybody’s falling into.

So how do you do this? You make it simple; you make it automatic. Start somewhere; just get something working for you. We get this question all the time: “Guys, I hear that you say you all should be saving 25%, but there’s no way I can save 25%. What’s the minimum amount I can save and still be okay?” The answer is something; just start saving something. If all you can do is save ten dollars a month right now, start doing it. Figure out how to get to 15 and then to 20 and then to 50 and then to 100. And you will be amazed as you start to reach that boiling point, you will see that the dollars get so, so exciting if you just give it time. Did you say boiling point? I didn’t do that.



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