How to make one million dollars

Last night I listened to our women’s volleyball coach deliver a potentially life-changing lesson to the five freshmen on his team. He told them that if you put a small amount of money into a retirement account each month, by the time you’re sixty-years-old you’ll have one million dollars.

This is common knowledge to anyone over the age of forty. Younger than that and it often comes as a shock. The kicker is that the younger you start saving money, the more you make in the long run. It still baffles me that more young people don’t get excited about this.

It’s a quirk of the human brain that we get more excited about a tiny reward right now than we do about a massive one in the future. We’ll get more excited to have a fifth beer at the bar than we will about retiring ten years earlier than most people.

I wrote a blog post about this last month called “How to make a lot of money.” The most popular reference was to the article: “4 best ways to invest in your 20’s.” I started investing for retirement in college with a Vanguard Roth IRA.

Don’t just read this. Do something.

[PS — the women’s volleyball team has its home opener tonight in Dods Hall at 7 p.m. The money you save by going to this free event might be a good start to saving for your retirement.]

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