Preserving Wealth: The Path to a Million-Dollar Plus Retirement Account

The year 2023 witnessed an extraordinary increase in the number of savers who achieved the milestone of having $1 million in their retirement accounts, with nearly 100,000 individuals joining this elite group. But what's the driving force behind this impressive financial achievement? 

UBS conducted a poll of millionaires of which 67 percent said the whole point of building wealth was achieving financial security, a position from which no single setback could plunge a family into destitution. While consumption items like cars and trips are nice, they are not the main driver for creating wealth — freedom from worry is. That’s why this blog is dedicated to exploring strategies to help you preserve and substantially grow your wealth for a worry-free retirement. Here’s what you need to know.

Is $1 Million Enough to Retire? Probably Not. 

Every day, we are fed a nonstop stream of the world’s wealthiest people, from their lifestyles to their latest obsessions. And while they might seem like they’re everywhere, as of 2023, there are almost 22 million millionaires in the United States alone (and 735 billionaires, according to Forbes Advisor). 

Just decades ago, the sound of being a millionaire was merely an unfeasible dream for most. But today, saving $1 Million isn’t such an unachievable feat, and some studies have even predicted that $1 million won't be enough to retire on. This is because while that much money provides financial security, it doesn't have the buying power that it used to. 

We're all aware of inflation, especially after the sky-high inflation we endured in 2023. This contributed to just about everything being more expensive - and it's gradually making the word "millionaire" mean a whole lot less. To clarify, having $1 million is still a big deal. It's a great goal if you're not there yet, and an achievement to be proud of if you are.

Whether you’re looking to reach a million or even a billion dollars by the time you retire, you’ll benefit from the following four financial tips…

Start Early, Reap Rewards

Kick-starting your million dollar+ savings journey early on can help pave the way for a more comfortable retirement. Those who have never even made a six-figure salary can still be on track to make a seven-figure retirement fund. By initiating savings in your 20s or 30s, you can harness the exponential growth potential of compound interest. 

Compound interests can help your contributions to multiply significantly over time. This strategic approach not only helps mitigate the impact of market volatility but also helps create a robust financial safety net for unforeseen circumstances, providing peace of mind and stability.

Pro Tip: Consider long-term investment strategies that align with your risk tolerance and financial goals.

The Role of Retirement Accounts

401(K) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) have played pivotal roles in helping individuals amass substantial savings. The S&P 500's 24% growth in 2023 has particularly bolstered retirement accounts, emphasizing the advantages of employer-sponsored 401(K) plans. Often complemented by employer-matched contributions, these plans provide a structured pathway for consistent savings. On the other hand, IRAs offer flexibility, catering to freelancers and those without access to employer-sponsored plans.

By leveraging these retirement vehicles, you benefit from compound growth, potential employer-matching contributions, and strategic asset allocation, empowering you to accumulate a substantial nest egg and enjoy financial security during your golden years.

Pro Tip: Participate in employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs) and other lesser-known employer-sponsored programs that can enhance your retirement savings further.

Crunching the Numbers

Determine precisely how much you need to accumulate for retirement, taking into account your desired lifestyle, expected expenses, and inflation. 

While the idea of reaching $1 million in retirement savings might seem daunting, the math suggests otherwise. According to financial experts, a 22-year-old can achieve this milestone by saving just $325 per month, assuming an 8% average annual return on investments. Even if you're starting later in life, the figures remain achievable: $500/month for a 27-year-old, $750 for a 32-year-old, and so forth. The key is to harness the power of compound interest and maintain a balanced investment strategy, aligning with your risk tolerance and age.

If you are looking to save more than a million for your golden years, say $5 million, you can use some basic financial math and the future value formula. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Determine Your Time Horizon:

Decide when you want to retire. The number of years you have until retirement will significantly impact your savings goal.

Estimate Your Expected Annual Return:

Consider the average annual return you expect to earn on your investments. This can vary depending on your asset allocation and risk tolerance. A typical long-term average might be around 7% to 8%, but it can vary.

Calculate the Future Value (FV):

Use the future value formula: FV = PV * (1 + r)^n, where

  • FV = Future Value (your $5 million goal)
  • PV = Present Value (your current savings or starting point)
  • r = Annual Interest Rate (expressed as a decimal)
  • n = Number of Years until Retirement

Solve for PV:

  • Rearrange the formula to solve for PV: PV = FV / (1 + r)^n.
  • Plug in the Values:
  • Substitute your $5 million goal for FV, the expected annual return rate (in decimal form) for r, and the number of years until retirement for n.


Let's say you have 20 years until retirement and expect an average annual return of 7%. Using the formula:

PV = $5,000,000 / (1 + 0.07)^20

PV ≈ $1,653,297.71

So, you would need to have approximately $1,653,298 as your starting point (present value) and then save and invest consistently to reach your $5 million goal.

Pro Tip: It's important to note that this calculation provides a rough estimate and doesn't account for inflation, taxes, changes in your investment returns, or fluctuations in your contributions. Always speak with your wealth preservation manager to determine your unique formula. 

Strategic Asset Allocation

Strategic asset allocation is critical in effective wealth preservation and investment management. This method can help investors balance risk and reward across varying life stages. The commonly referenced rule of subtracting your age from 110 provides a foundational framework, allowing early investors to allocate a higher percentage to stocks and capitalize on long-term growth potential. This approach highlights the principle that aligning your portfolio with your risk tolerance and financial goals is paramount, particularly as market conditions evolve.

Asset allocation extends beyond age-based guidelines, emphasizing the significance of diversification and alignment with overarching financial objectives. By spreading investments across diverse asset classes, sectors, and geographic regions, investors can help mitigate specific risks, enhance portfolio resilience, and capitalize on emerging opportunities. 

Pro Tip: Focus on increasing your income through career advancement, entrepreneurship, investments, or other means to reach your retirement goal.

Partnering with NJM: Your Wealth Preservation Ally

Navigating the complexities of retirement planning and wealth accumulation requires expertise and tailored financial strategies. At NJM Wealth Preservation Strategies, we understand the nuances of wealth preservation and retirement planning, especially for those investors looking to hit big numbers for their nest egg.

Building millions of dollars and more for retirement is an ambitious goal, but not an impossible one. Whether you're just starting your savings journey or fine-tuning your investment strategy, our experienced advisors can guide you every step of the way. Together, we'll craft a more precise and personalized retirement plan, helping to secure a comfortable and worry-free future for generations to come.

Don't leave your financial future to chance. Contact NJM Wealth Preservation Strategies today to embark on your path toward a secure and prosperous retirement.