Invest 15% of your income in tax-advantaged retirement accounts. Invest in good-growth stock mutual funds. In fact, there is a whole group of millionaires called Baby Steps Millionaires who have followed the 7 Baby Steps to reach the million-dollar mark. They were able to pay off all their debt and achieve a net worth of one million dollars in about 20 years.
Once you get to Baby Step 4, you can start saving and investing 15% of your gross family income for retirement. Why 15%? First of all, investing 15% of your income consistently month after month, year after year, will put you on the path to becoming a Baby Steps millionaire thanks to time and compound growth doing your thing. If you follow the Baby Steps, you'll accumulate wealth and be able to live and give like no one else. And secondly, investing 15% still leaves some room for maneuver in your budget to achieve other important financial goals, such as saving for your children's college funds and paying for your house early.
If you're struggling to reach that 15% mark, take a closer look at your monthly budget. Whether you're using an app like EveryDollar or an outdated spreadsheet, a budget will help you keep up with your expenses and show you where to reduce your expenses so you can save more for retirement. The Ramsey Solutions research team conducted the largest millionaire survey ever conducted, called The National Study of Millionaires. Our team spoke to more than 10,000 millionaires so that we could finally get a clear idea of what a true millionaire looks like and how he built his seven-figure net worth.
If your company offers a 401 (k) plan with equivalent contributions, start investing there first. A 401 (k) plan is an employer-sponsored savings plan that allows workers to contribute a portion of their income to a retirement savings account that has a selection of mutual funds and other investments. Retirement accounts can be called in different ways, such as 403 (b) for non-profit organizations and TSP for federal employees. Many companies also offer Roth 401 (k) plans.
With a Roth 401 (k) plan, you contribute money after taxes, which means you won't owe taxes when you withdraw your funds in retirement. We recommend saving with a Roth 401 (k) plan instead of a traditional 401 (k) plan if available. However, if your only option is a traditional 401 (k) plan with a counterparty, it's still a great way to start investing. Remember that the goal of Baby Step 4 is to invest 15% of your household income.
You won't get the full 15% if you invest up to the employer's counterpart only in a traditional 401 (k) plan. That's why we also recommend taking full advantage of a Roth IRA. A Roth IRA (individual retirement account), such as a Roth 401 (k), is a retirement savings account that allows you to pay taxes on the money you deposit in advance. If you invest directly through a financial advisor or investment firm, you can also automate your monthly savings in a Roth IRA.
This will require an extra step in the paperwork, but it's worth filling out an additional form or two to ensure that you're consistently saving money. Slow and steady wins the race. Once you've reached your annual Roth IRA limit, go back to your 401 (k) and invest the remaining amount until you reach 15% of your income. If those options aren't available to you, or if you need another way to invest 15% of your income, deposit your money in a brokerage account and invest in mutual funds.
You'll have a lot of questions, that's a fact. What are the best funds to choose from? How do I manage my 401 (k) or set up a Roth IRA? Your investment professional can show you how to start investing and answer all your questions so you can make the best possible decisions for your retirement savings. Let's say Jane is debt-free, has a full emergency fund and is ready to start investing 15% of her retirement income. Specifically, Ramsey recommends that you first invest your money in a 401 (k) work plan if your employer has one available to you.
Recommends investing in your 401 (k) plan up to the amount of your employer's contribution. An employer counterpart is a contribution that your employer makes when you invest in your account. And Ramsey believes that you should claim everything you can. The good news is that you don't need an employer to open a Roth IRA for you, so this account preferred by Ramsey is widely available even to people whose companies don't offer retirement plans.
Finally, Roth IRAs have lower maximum contribution limits than a 401 (k), so Ramsey suggests that if you've reached the maximum amount you can contribute to a Roth IRA and you still have money left to invest, go back to your 401 (k) and put the rest there. However, fewer employers offer Roth 401 (k) accounts compared to traditional accounts, so if you don't have access to one, Ramsey recommends starting with the traditional account. . .